WWE Crown Jewel Review

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Results + Star Ratings:

  • Shinsuke Nakamura defeated Rusev to retain the United States Title @9:27 **1/2
  • Rey Mysterio defeated Randy Orton to advance in the World Cup @5:14 **1/2
  • The Miz defeated Jeff Hardy to advance in the World Cup @6:54 **
  • Seth Rollins defeated Bobby Lashley to advance in the World Cup @5:24 **1/4
  • Dolph Ziggler defeated Kurt Angle to advance in the World Cup @8:15 **3/4
  • The New Day defeated The Bar to retain the SD Live Tag Titles @10:28 ***
  • The Miz defeated Rey Mysterio to advance in the World Cup @11:09 ***
  • Dolph Ziggler defeated The Miz to advance in the World Cup @13:04 ***1/4
  • AJ Styles defeated Samoa Joe to retain the WWE Title @11:09 ***1/2
  • Brock Lesnar defeated Braun Strowman to win the Universal Title N/A
  • Shane Mcmahon defeated Dolph Ziggler to become the Best in the World @2:29 N/A
  • Degeneration X defeated The Brothers of Destruction @27:48 *

Shinsuke Nakamura(c) vs. Rusev for the United States Title:

  • Announced at the last minute.
  • Vertical Suplex by Rusev sends Naka into a hard landing on his shoulder. 
  • A series of kicks into an enzugiri by Naka knocks down Rusev for the first near fall. 
  • Naka gets Rusev down with a Front Facelock, Rusev powers up and launches Naka off. Interesting rest hold spot. 
  • Rusev hits a comeback series and taunts for the Machka Kick, Naka dodges. 
  • Buzzsaw Kick by Rusev connects, very near fall. 
  • Sliding Penalty Kick by Nakamura goes for a near fall. 
  • The Saudi Arabian crowd is less dead than last time but that isn’t saying much. 
  • Catching Machka Kick by Rusev, very near fall. 
  • Rusev looks for the Accolade but Nakamura instantly rolls to the ropes, Naka climbs to the top rope and hits a Flying Knee. Nakamura tries to go for a pin, is under the ropes but tries to go for the pin. Slight Botch. 
  • Machka Kick into the Accolade by Rusev, Rusev drags Naka into the middle of the ring, Naka hits a low blow but gets away with it. Kinshasa wins for Nakamura. 

Winner: Shinsuke Nakamura Retains @9:27

Rating: **1/2, this was an okay starter. Some strikes landed hard and these 2 are both talented. It did look like Nakamura wasn’t on his game though with some botches and lack of energy. A Rusev win might’ve made sense if it wasn’t on the kickoff of a controversial show. 

  • Hulk Hogan comes out, this makes me legitimately so pissed off. So they have a public racist come out to start a show taking place in Saudi Arabia?? Does WWE genuinely want to drive itself into the ground and have everyone watch the indies? I have to try and watch this show for the wrestling and not the politics. 

wcbracketRey Mysterio vs. Randy Orton World Cup First Round:

  • Great catching dropkick by Orton to Mysterio off a springboard, first near fall.
  • Orton goes for the mask of Mysterio on the top rope, Diving Senton by Mysterio followed up with a springboard crossbody takes down Orton. 
  • Wheelbarrow facebuster by Mysterio, near fall. 
  • 619 by Mysterio caught into a Hangman DDT by Orton, good big move sequence. 
  • Orton taunts for the RKO, Mysterio rolls up Orton for the win!

Winner: Rey Mysterio Advances @ 5:14! 

Rating: **1/2, a fun sprint with two very talented guys. I wished it would’ve gone longer but the match went down without a hitch and Orton was protected with the finish which is a smart move. 

  • Randy Orton attacks Rey Mysterio after the match. 

Jeff Hardy vs. The Miz World Cup First Round:

  • Near fall roll up by Jeff Hardy.
  • Delete Turnbuckle Smashes by Hardy to Miz’s moneymaker. 
  • This match has started without any momentum and a silent crowd.
  • A comeback series by Hardy picks up the pace and brings in the crowd. 
  • Whisper in the Wind by Hardy hits, near fall. 
  • Figure 4 Leg Lock rolled up by Hardy, very near fall. 
  • Hardy jumps off the barricade with a crossbody to take down Miz ringside.
  • Miz rolls out of the way of a Swanton Bomb, Miz rolls up Hardy using the ropes but the official catches him, near fall rollup by Hardy.
  • Twist of Fate reversed into the Skull Crushing Finale by Miz for the win. 

Winner: The Miz advances @6:54!

Rating: **, this match lacked any momentum and relied way too heavily upon roll up moments and neither men looked good. The crowd was silent and this was an awkward match to watch. Jeff Hardy tried all that he could to get the crowd into the match with his comeback series and dive off the barricade but it just becomes the 2nd meaningless tournament match in a tournament that had a lot of potential. 

Seth Rollins vs. Bobby Lashley World Cup First Round Match:

  • Suicide Dive by Seth Rollins stopped with a chokeslam by Lashley, first near fall. 
  • Swinging neckbreaker by Lashley, near fall. 
  • Lashley has squashed the opening minutes of this match.
  • Rollins knocks Lashley ringside and hits 2 suicide dives. Rollins hits his back hard against the barricade. 
  • Roll Up into the Curb Stomp by Rollins for the win. 

Winner: Seth Rollins Advances @5:24!

Rating: **1/4, this was a very average match and the undercard on this show continues to be VERY weak. However, I’m glad that Seth Rollins won and can have good matches later on tonight, hopefully. 

Kurt Angle vs. Dolph Ziggler World Cup First Round:

  • This match has legitimate dream match potential. 
  • Belly to Belly suplex by Angle starts a series of German Suplexes. Angle attempts a german suplex off the apron, Ziggler knocks Angle to ringside with an elbow.
  • Ziggler sends Angle shoulder first into the steel steps. 
  • A sleeper hold by Ziggler weakens down Angle but is locked in for a long time. 
  • 3 Consecutive German Suplexes by Kurt Angle, near fall. 
  • Angle Slam countered by Ziggler into a spike DDT on the formerly injured neck of Angle, near fall.
  • Fameasser caught into the Angle Slam for a near fall. 
  • Fameasser by Ziggler hits, another near fall.
  • Sunset Flip by Ziggler rolled into an Ankle Lock by Angle, Ziggler rolls Angle over removing the hold.
  • Ziggler sends Angle into the post and follows it up with a Zig Zag for the win. 

Winner: Dolph Ziggler Advances @8:15!

Rating: **3/4, This match actually had a very solid layout unlike the other tournament matches so far. It was very surreal to see Kurt Angle and Dolph Ziggler in the ring together and even though age was a factor it didn’t get in the way of the match. This was a fun match and the best so far on the card. 

New Day vs. The Bar for the SD Live Tag Titles:

  • The New Day enter on a flying magic carpet platform, the coolest part of the show so far to be honest. 
  • Big E and Sheamus start the match. 
  • Great Monkey Flip by Cesaro but Kofi lands on his feet and runs back with a dropkick, first near fall. 
  • Hopscotch Springboard Crossbody by Kingston to Cesaro, near fall. 
  • Big Show accompanies the Bar at ringside and Xavier Woods accompanies New Day.
  • Stiff chops by Kofi to Sheamus as Kofi tries to make a tag but Sheamus kicks Kofi down and tags in Cesaro, the Bar are isolating Kofi. 
  • Double Team Jackhammer/Suplex by The Bar to Kofi for a near fall. 
  • Kofi sends Sheamus into the post and Big E makes a hot tag.
  • Uranage by Big E to Sheamus, near fall. 
  • V-Trigger by Sheamus to Big E in the corner. 
  • Powerbomb/Double Stomp combo by New Day gets a near fall on Sheamus. 
  • Big E launches Kofi over the top rope to take out Cesaro, Big Show KO punches Big E and Sheamus hits a brogue kick to retain.

Winners: The Bar retain @10:28!

Rating: ***, easily the best match of the card so far. It was a really fun and smart tag match which is routine for the Bar and New Day. We’ve seen this exact match SOOO many times but independently each match always delivers. The ending was flat as I still don’t understand why Big Show is with the Bar and helping them cheat to win put a bad ending to a good match. 

Rey Mysterio vs. The Miz World Cup Semi-Final:

  • Fast start unlike Miz vs. Jeff.
  • Miz slides Rey to ringside, Rey lands on his feet. Rey takes Miz ringside and slides under the bottom rope to splash Miz at ringside. 
  • Alley Oop Facebuster by The Miz plants Rey. 
  • Bow and Arrow hold by Miz, Mysterio flips into a cover for a near fall. 
  • Saudi Arabians chant “CM Punk”. I’m not about that at all.
  • Miz drives Mysterio into the barricade, in-ring near fall. 
  • Abdominal Stretch by Miz works the weakend midsection of Rey. Rey turns it into a DDT to escape the hold. 
  • Slow strikefest between the two, Springboard Crossbody by Mysterio for a near fall. 
  • Mysterio goes for a facebuster but Miz sends him into the turnbuckles then hits a Skull Crushing Finale for a great near fall. 
  • It! Kicks by The Miz, Mysterio tries to go for the pinning combo that eliminated Orton but Miz kicks out.
  • 619 hits for Rey, followed up with a Frog Splash but The Miz gets his knees up and rolls up Miz for the finish. 

Winner: The Miz Advances @11:09!

Rating: ***, This is the best tournament match so far mostly because it went longer than the rest of them. The match had some great moments including a great near fall after Miz hit a Skull Crushing Finale. However, I really don’t agree with the finish on a fan level I realize we could’ve seen Mysterio vs. Rollins but on an industry level, firing Mysterio from SD Live if he doesn’t have an exclusive deal and they are mad he was at the Jericho Cruise would’ve made perfect sense. The match was fun and made both men look pretty good. 

Seth Rollins vs. Dolph Ziggler World Cup Semi-Final:

  • Ziggler is immediately working the neck of Rollins injured in the Lashley match.
  • Rollins and Mcintyre stare down ringside, Ziggler catches Rollins with a Spike DDT for a near fall in-ring. 
  • Really uneventful opening.
  • Ziggler mocking Rollins with cocky kicks to the face, Rollins sends Ziggler into the turnbuckle and hits a neckbreaker. 
  • Backslide by Rollins, weird near fall. Rollins catches Ziggler’s DDT and more roll up near falls happen and it becomes a sequence of roll-ups into a deadlift powerbomb by Rollins that gets rolled up for one last near fall by Ziggler, Ripcord Knee by Rollins takes out Ziggler for a near fall. 
  • Mcintyre distracts Rollins but Rollins sends Ziggler to ringside, Suicide Dive by Rollins takes out both Ziggler and Mcintyre.
  • Springboard by Rollins misses, Ziggler hits a Fameasser for a near fall. 
  • Superplex by Rollins but the Falcon Arrow is countered into a Zig Zag by Ziggler for a great near fall.
  • Another Zig Zag attempt fails, Suicide Dive by Rollins wipes out Mcintyre, Ziggler distracts the referee, Mcintyre pushes Rollins off the top rope, Ziggler hits a superkick for the win.

Winner: Dolph Ziggler advances @13:04!

Rating: ***1/4, The match started slow and the crowd was silent. Over time they worked the crowd back into it but the match was worked surprisingly sloppy for these two guys. There were some exciting moments like the Falcon Arrow into the Zig Zag and the finish was okay but this is probably the worst Ziggler vs. Rollins match but it’s still the best match on this show so far. I don’t exactly think of Ziggler vs. Miz when I think of Best in the World though. 

AJ Styles vs. Samoa Joe for the WWE Title:

  • I don’t blame Daniel Bryan for not going to Saudi Arabia, however, the match at Super Show Down was a fantastic way to close the Joe vs. Styles feud. 
  • Fast aggressive start with Styles on top after a kick to the injured knee of Joe.
  • Awesome suicide dive by Joe launches Styles into the announce table.
  • Step-up enzugiri in the corner by Joe goes for a near fall. 
  • Okay, the assholes in Saudi Arabia are starting a wave in this match even though it’s the best match of the night already. 
  • Great hard-hitting strike fest.
  • Great Moonsault DDT by Styles for a near fall. 
  • Springboard Forearm by Styles to Joe ringside. 
  • Joe dodges Styles on the springboard and hits a snap powerslam for another near fall. 
  • Stiff lariat by Joe knocks down Styles. 
  • Calf Crusher by Styles locked in on the injured knee of Joe, Joe grabs ropes. 
  • Roll up by Styles is caught into the Coquina Clutch, Styles works the bad leg to escape the hold. 
  • Pele Kick by Styles knocks Joe down, Phenomenal Forearm ends the match. 

Winner: AJ Styles Retains @11:09!

Rating: ***1/2, I don’t think I’ve ever hated a crowd more than these guys. I hope WWE is happy with the fucking payday they made from this PPV. This was the first actually good match of the show and the crowd SHAT on it for no apparent reason releasing a wave, Cm Punk and Ole Chants. They ended this match earlier than they should’ve but while it was going it was a fun, hard-hitting match but it was hard to focus on. If it wasn’t in front of such a bad crowd on such a despicable payday glorified house show I might have given it a higher rating. 

Braun Strowman vs. Brock Lesnar for the Vacant Universal Title:

  • Baron Corbin attacks Strowman with the title, Lesnar hits an F5 on Strowman for a near fall.
  • A 2nd F5 hits and Strowman kicks out again. 
  • A 3rd F5 hits and the same shit happens, Strowman kicks out. 
  • A 4th F5 by Lesnar sends Strowman to the outside, near countout.
  • A 5th F5 hits for the close.

Winner: Brock Lesnar

Rating: N/A, WWE is never this serious but I’m typing this review crying about how horrible this show is. After this show, WWE might never be watched by me again and I know I’m not the only one in this boat. They just put the title on the inactive, horrible champion that was champion for forever. This is probably the worst thing that’s happened in WWE for years AND it comes after Roman had to relinquish the title due to cancer. This is despicable, who in the absolute blue fuck is booking this show?!

The Miz vs. Dolph Ziggler World Cup Final:

  • Weird choice for the finals. 
  • The referee sends Drew Mcintyre to the back, Miz attacks a distracted Ziggler.
  • Ringside, The Miz tripped and hurt his leg. Miz looks genuinely hurt or he’s doing an amazing sell.
  • The Ring Announcer announces a forfeit, Shane Mcmahon interrupts him and says SD isn’t gonna go down like that, Shane Mcmahon takes his place. 

Shane Mcmahon vs. Dolph Ziggler:

  • So, that crappy tournament meant absolutely nothing. 
  • Baron Corbin trips Shane, the referee sends Corbin to the back. 
  • Zig Zag by Ziggler but the referee is late to the count making a near fall. 
  • Slingshot by Shane sends Ziggler into the corner, Coast 2 Coast by Shane closes the match. 

Winner: Shane Mcmahon is the Best in the World @2:29

Rating: N/A, the Best in the World tournament up to this point was absolute garbage and it was a waste of time because Shane (someone who wasn’t even in the match) won. This show has gone absolutely horribly and nothing has gone right. I love the crazy fun of Shane winning if it was a Battle Royal or something but I just watched 2 hours of this tournament for a Mcmahon blowjob moment. 

Degeneration Bald vs. The Brothers of Aging:

  • The Mayor of Knox County and the Savior of WWE start the match. (Kane and Triple H)
  • It’s great to see Shawn back in the ring however he doesn’t look too good bald. 
  • Undertaker and Michaels stand-off.
  • The Brothers send DB to ringside so the bald men can be there standing while Taker and Kane put up the fist which incidentally means White Power which Kane should’ve known that so now the mayor of a Tennesee county has been in Saudi Arabia releasing the White Power symbol, that’s great politics. 
  • This show has driven me crazy. 
  • Taker hits old school on Michaels.
  • So, Saudi Arabia is chanting This is Awesome, no it’s not. It’s absolutely not. 
  • Michaels has NXT on his tights, representing actual good wrestling is the highlight of this retirement home tag match. 
  • Elbow Drop by Michaels to Kane, only Michaels and HHH “Still got it”.
  • Sweet Chin Music blocked by Kane into a Chokeslam, Taker tags in. 
  • Sweet Chin Music by Michaels catches Undertaker when he was distracted with HHH and both lay on the ground for FOREVER. Taker sits up and takes it ringside.
  • Kane chokeslams HHH through the announce table. 
  • Apron Leg Drop by Taker to Michaels.
  • This match is very boring.
  • Moonsault by Shawn Michaels wipes out Taker and Kane ringside even though it mostly misses it was still really cool to see. 
  • Pedigree by HHH to Undertaker.
  • Undertaker locks HHH in Hells Gate, Michaels superkicks Kane into the hold breaking it. 
  • Pedigree by HHH pins Kane.

Winners: Degeneration X @ 27:48

Rating: *, THIS WAS 30 MINUTES OF OLD PEOPLE LAYING ON THE FLOOR MOANING. MICHAELS ALMOST KILLED HIMSELF WITH THE MOONSAULT AND IVE NEVER BEEN SO BORED I LITERALLY STARTED DOING HOMEWORK AROUND MINUTE 15 OF THIS MATCH.

Show Grade: F-

Last Word: I could take this space to recap the show like I normally do but I’m just not going to worry about it. This is without a shadow of a doubt the worst show I’ve ever seen and I believe it was WWE fucking with Saudi Arabia and putting over Evolution. Multiple times the announcers were literally saying the show was trash, nothing went right, it went WAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY too long. It will be a while until I volunteer to watch WWE again. If you feel the same way and are looking for other companies to watch I’ll be reviewing PWG BOLA 2018 and Progress Chapter 77 very soon so look out for that. 

 

 

 

 

 

NJPW King of Pro Wrestling 2018 Review

 

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Results + Star Ratings:

  • Yoshinobu Kanemaru and Desperado defeat Jushin Liger and Tiger Mask via pinfall to retain the IWGP Jr Tag Titles @10:15 ***
  • Tomoaki Honma and Togi Makabe defeat Juice Robinson and Toa Henare via pinfall @10:21 ***1/4
  • Firing Squad defeat Bullet Club Elite via pinfall @12:06 ***1/2
  • Chaos (Will Ospreay, Tomohiro Ishii, and Hirooki Goto) defeat Suzuki-Gun (Izuka, Minoru Suzuki, and Tai-Chi) via pinfall @12:09 ***1/4
  • Los Ignobernables de Japon (Tetsuya Naito, Shingo Takagi, Bushi, and Sanda) defeat Chaos (Kazuchika Okada, Toru Yano, and Roppongi 3K) via pinfall @9:30 ***1/4
  • Evil vs. Zack Sabre Jr goes to a No Contest @0:00 N/A
  • Kushida defeats Marty Scurrl via pinfall to win the IWGP Jr Heavyweight Title @18:32 ****
  • Hiroshi Tanahashi defeats Jay White to retain the G1 Briefcase via pinfall @20:40 ****1/2
  • Kenny Omega defeats Cody and Kota Ibushi to retain the IWGP Heavyweight Title via pinfall @34:13 ****1/2

 

1008_01jrtagKanemaru and Desperado (c) vs. Jushin Liger and Tiger Mask for the IWGP Jr Tag Titles:

  • Spear by Desperado hits Tiger Mask, near fall save by Liger. 
  • Swinging Dropkick by Suzuki Gun lays out Liger, isolating Tiger.
  • Tiger Driver by Tiger Mask to Desperado, very near fall.
  • Desperado goes for the mask and Tiger strikes him hard and hits a super Butterfly suplex, near fall save by Kanemaru. 
  • Cannonball off the apron by Liger wipes out Kanemaru. 
  • Tiger Mask ducks a shot with the title belt by Desperado, Tiger Suplex hits but no referee to count the pin. 
  • Pop-up low blow by Desperado to Tiger Mask, Pinche Loco hits to close the match

Winners: Desperado and Kanemaru Retain! Day Count: 214+ Days @10:15

Rating: ***, this was a routine Suzuki-Gun match with them cheating to secure the victory. Desperado and Kanemaru have been champions for way too long but these were not the challengers to dethrone them. It’s always great to see Liger in action and Tiger Mask is still very talented even with the age. 

Juice Robinson and Toa Henare vs. Tomoaki Honma and Togi Makabe:

  • Honma and Henare start the match.
  • Stiff chops by Honma in the corner to Henare. 
  • Long-holding Vertical suplex by Robinson to Honma, near fall. 
  • Suplex attempt battle into a vertical suplex by Honma opening the tag to Makabe.
  • Hot Tag by Togi Makabe.
  • Huge Lariat by Makabe to Robinson, near fall. 
  • Cannonball by Juice to Makabe in the corner followed up by the Full Nelson Bomb, near fall. 
  • Juice punches to Makabe, Makabe ducks it and hits a huge lariat flipping Juice. Makabe makes the tag to Honma. 
  • Hard chop by Juice to Honma, Stiff lariat by Honma, near fall save by Henare. 
  • Robinson slams Honma off the top rope and makes the tag to Henare. 
  • Huge lariat by Henare to Honma, very near fall. 
  • Running Shoulder Block by Honma takes down Henare.
  • Great rugby tackle by Henare on Makabe, near fall save by Honma.
  • Stiff lariat by Makabe knocks Henare down. 
  • Double Team Lariats by Honma and Makabe, then a headbutt/Gorilla Knee Drop combo puts Henare away. 

Winners: Tomoaki Honma and Togi Makabe @10:21

Rating: ***1/4, Juice Robinson is on a bit of a downward spiral and it continues here. Honma has been having to have a great moment to prove himself. This was a fun and hard-hitting tag match and every member of this match is talented and it delivered as an opening tag match. 

Bullet Club Elite (Young Bucks, Chase Owens, and Hangman Page) vs. Firing Squad (Taiji Ishimori, Bad Luck Fale, and The Guerillas):

  • Tonga Loa and Chase Owens start the match. 
  • Nick Jackson and Taiji Ishimori tag in, the pure athletes.
  • Great sequence from Taiji and Nick into the double dropkicks. 
  • Everyone strikes off in the middle of the ring. Elite dropkicks Firing Squad to ringside. 
  • Diving Senton by Nick wipes out Firing Squad ringside, Loa stops Matt’s dive and hits a powerslam ringside again targeting the bad back.
  • The Firing Squad isolates Matt’s back by removing the belt and tape and having Fale stand on his back.
  • Hot tag by Hangman Page, Dropsault on Toa and Ishimori.
  • Great Diving Moonsault to ringside by Hangman Page. 
  • Buckle Bomb by Page into the enzugiris by the Bucks to Ishimori followed by a Backbreaker by Owens, near fall. 
  • Buckshot Lariat by Page takes out Tama, German Suplex by Loa to Page. Superkick Party by The Bucks to Fale. Doublerana by Ishimori takes the Bucks ringside, Ishimori hits a twisting plancha.
  • Gun Stun reversed into a Roll up by Owens on Tama, near fall.
  • Pop-Up Gun Stun by G.O.D closes Chase Owens. 

Winners: Firing Squad @12:06

Rating: ***1/2, This was a good little tag match continuing the Bullet Club vs. Firing Squad feud. It could’ve been better if there were more spots but in the end, it was just an opening tag and the continuation of Matt Jackson’s back injury and Hangman Page looking awesome. 

Chaos (Will Ospreay, Hirooki Goto, and Tomohiro Ishii) vs. Suzuki-Gun (Minoru Suzuki, Tai-Chi, and Izuka):

  • Shockingly, Suzuki Gun attack early leading to a brawl ringside.
  • Tandem sequences by Chaos take out Tai-Chi and Suzuki.
  • Armbar over the top rope by Suzuki to Goto. 
  • Suzuki attacks Ishii with a chair and Izuka attacks Goto with a chair. 
  • Near countout on Goto who just escaped being isolated by Suzuki Gun ringside. 
  • Izuka biting the head of Goto, Izuka is pure nonsense. Izuka bites Ospreay and Ishii as well. 
  • Stiff mid-kicks by Suzuki to Goto, Goto squares up and chops Suzuki’s chest. Brainbuster by Goto opens up tags.
  • Hot tag by Tomohiro Ishii. 
  • Strikefest from Ishii and Suzuki, Ishii wears Suzuki down and spits at him. Suzuki rises up and smiles and decks Ishii with an elbow. A series of hard elbows by Suzuki but Ishii squares up and attempts the brainbuster but it fails, Gotch Neutralizer by Suzuki fails, and a Flying Shoulder Tackle by Ishii puts both down. Awesome stand-off. 
  • Handspring Enzugiri by Ospreay on Tai-Chi, near fall. 
  • Izuka chokes Ospreay with a chain, lariat by Tai-Chi into a near fall. 
  • Izuka grabs his iron finger but Tiger Hattori gets in his way, with Tiger distracted Tai-Chi goes to hit Ospreay with the title but Ospreay hits a Spanish Fly.
  • Storm Breaker by Ospreay closes the match on Tai-Chi, huge win for Ospreay. Ospreay challenges Tai-Chi for a Never Openweight Title Match, yes, please. 

Winners: Chaos @12:09

Rating: ***1/4, The Izuka stuff almost ruined this entire match. He took so much out of a match with 4 really talented guys. The best thing about this match was the sequence of Goto and Ishii striking the crap out of each other and Ospreay’s first big heavyweight win. Ospreay looks to challenge for the Never Openweight Title next.

  • A great video package build suspense about the new Los Ignobernables member. 

Los Ignobernables de Japon (Bushi, Naito, Sanada, and Shingo Takagi) vs. Chaos (Kazuchika Okada, Toru Yano, and Roppongi 3k):

  • After a long reveal, the new L.I.J member is revealed to be Shingo Takagi a former Dragon Gate star. 
  • Shingo Takagi and Yoh start the match.
  • The Halloween attire on Bushi is sick.
  • Paradise Lock by Sanda wraps Yano around the bottom rope. 
  • Paradise Lock by Sanada on Yoh, Sanada kicks Yoh into Yano to break the hold on both. 
  • Hot tag by Kazuchika Okada. 
  • Roll up/Dropkick combo by Naito and Bushi on Okada, near fall. 
  • Rainmaker attempt by Okada reversed into a Destino attempt by Naito, Naito hits flying forearm knocking down Okada. 
  • Widow’s Peak facebuster by Takagi on Sho, near fall.
  • Great suicide dive by Bushi.
  • Last Falconry by Takagi puts away Sho. 

Winners: Los Ignobernables de Japon

Rating: ***1/4, This was centered around Shingo Takagi and it was an awesome debut for him. It was a bit of a squash but Takagi looked awesome and his finisher the Last Falconry looked sick. I’m really excited to see how the future of L.I.J goes. 

1008_6Evil vs. Zack Sabre Jr:

  • A special “King of Darkness” entrance for Evil, one of the druids attacks him. The druid unmasks as Chris Jericho after a Codebreaker on Evil. 
  • ZSJ comes in and still tries to wrestle Evil but a no contest is called. Zack attacks the referee and Evil. ZSJ locks Evil in an armbar, Tetsuya Naito comes down to save Evil. 
  • ZSJ and Naito striker off and Naito hits a Tornado DDT to take out ZSJ. 

Winner: No Contest @0:00

Rating: N/A, At this point in the show there, hadn’t been a standout match in about 2 and a half hours of the show. So when I saw this match was next I got excited. However good it is to see Chris Jericho it was a bit of a disappointment that this match didn’t happen. I don’t know when we’ll see ZSJ vs. Evil but it’s definitely Evil vs. Chris Jericho at Wrestlekingdom. 

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Marty Scurrl vs. Kushida for the IWGP Jr Heavyweight Championship:

  • Jumping catch into the armbar by Kushida, Scurrl rolls it up for a near fall.
  • Roll up battle sequence, near fall by Kushida. 
  • Apron Superkick by Scurrl blasts Kushida. 
  • Stiff chops by Scurrl ringside. 
  • Romero Special by Scurrl hoists Kushida in the air and works the bad knee of Kushida. 
  • Spike DDT by Kushida gives him space from Scurrl. 
  • Kushida fires up and hits a great cartwheel dropkick. 
  • Hoverboard Lock attempt by Kushida fails and Scurrl dumps him on the apron. Step-up enzugiri by Kushida knocks down Marty. Scurrl springs up to stop Kushida on the top rope. 
  • Superplex by Scurrl but Kushida holds on for a roll up, near fall. Thrust kick by Scurrl nails Kushida. 
  • Another roll up battle sequence with a few very near falls.
  • Handspring by Kushida caught into a backslide rolled into a thrust kick by Scurrl again nailing Kushida.
  • They take turns kneeing each other in the head and it turns into a strike sequence. Double lariat into a double slap takes both out.  
  • Wheelbarrow kick by Kushida catches Scurrl against the ropes sending him ringside. 
  • Super Diablo Armbar by Kushida off the top rope by Kushida, Marty fights under the bottom rope and slingshots Kushida into the rope. 
  • STO into the corner by Kushida into a Back to the Future attempt countered into the Cross Face Chicken Wing by Scurrl, Scurrl locks it in tight and Kushida rolls through to get out.
  • Hoverboard lock by Scurrl, Kushida fights out. 
  • Half and Half suplex by Scurrl dumps Kushida on his head.
  • Graduation attempt by Scurrl reversed into an Air Raid Crash by Kushida.
  • Hand stomp by Scurrl. Kushida goes for the hoverboard lock but the damage to the hand stops Kushida from locking in the hold. 
  • Back to the Future attempt by Kushida rolled up by Scurrl, near fall.
  • Graduation by Scurrl finally hits, great near fall. 
  • 2 consecutive Back to the Future Bombs hit by Kushida closes the match.

Winner: Kushida New Champion!

Rating: ****, This match lacked the amount of excitement and urgency that Ospreay vs. Scurrl had but this was still a very good junior match. These 2 worked an exciting technical match and battled their signature submissions. While the match lacked character, it was great in-ring and Kushida delivered another good performance in grabbing the title.

1008_8_kenriJay White vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi(c) for the G1 Title Shot:

  • Rematch from Wrestlekingdom 12.
  • Jay White immediately rolled to ringside and tries to escape Tana.
  • White throws Tana into the barricade and delivers a stiff chop. Tana turns the tables and dropkicks White over the barricade. 
  • Gedo cheap shots Tana, Tana chases him and White from behind delivers a blow to the bad knee of Tana. 
  • White smashes the leg of Tana into the apron and then wraps the leg around the ring post. Gedo hits the knee of Tana with the G1 Briefcase. 
  • Tana hangs onto the top rope and dropkicks Gedo into the barricade, White catches Tana on his way back into the ring and continues to attack the knee. 
  • Dragon Screw Leg Whip by Tana hits getting himself some needed space from White.
  • Somersault Senton by Tana goes for a near fall. 
  • Cloverleaf by Tana, White gets the ropes. 
  • Saito suplex near the ropes by White dumps Tana all the way to ringside. 
  • White slams Tana into the barricade three times and Jay grabs a chair. 
  • White is distracted by Red Shoes leading to a Dragon Screw over the middle rope by Tana. 
  • Diving High Fly Flow off the top rope to ringside by Tana hits. 
  • Stiff chops by White but Tana keeps going. STO/German Suplex combo by White lays out Tana. 
  • Strikefest into a big move attempt sequence, Twist and Shout by Tana lays out White. Tana maintains control and hits another Twist and Shout. Twisting Vertical Suplex by White ends the sequence. 
  • Slingblade by Tana, Gedo hops up on the barricade and Tana punches him down. Blade Runner attempt by White fails, Dragon suplex by Tana, near fall. 
  • High Fly Flow to a standing White then a High Fly Flow to a downed White, amazing near fall save with Gedo pulling out the referee. 
  • With the referee out, Tana ducks the Brass knuckles from Gedo but White hits a low blow on Tana. White goes to attack Tana with a chair but Tana fires back with a low blow of his own. Tana has been pushed so far to cheat by White. High Fly Flow onto a chair misses sending Tana directly onto the steel chair. White throws a chair into the face of Tana knocking him down. 
  • With Red Shoes back in, White goes for the Blade Runner but Tana rolls it up to close the match. 

Winner: Hiroshi Tanahashi Retains the Title Shot!

Rating: ****1/2, the story here was Gedo and Jay White were the big deal heels taking over NJPW and betraying Chaos. Tanahashi again played an awesome babyface and this match was a saga. The working of Tana’s knee was great and the Gedo interference never got annoying and actually played into the match. The near fall after Tana hit 2 High Fly Flows on White and Gedo pulled out the referee was awesome. The urgency in this match was great too as there were a lot of moments were you thought Jay White could cheat to win. Tanahashi having to roll up to win the match protects Jay White as they continue to strap the rocket to his back and have him carry the heel portion of NJPW. 

  • Kazuchika Okada comes down to save Hiroshi Tanahashi from an attack. The Firing Squad comes down. Firing Squad forced Okada to chose between Chaos and Gedo and Tama hits a Gun Stun laying out Okada. Gedo, Jado, and the Firing Squad attack Okada with Jay White forming a new faction. 

1008_9_iwgpKenny Omega(c) vs. Cody vs. Kota Ibushi for the IWGP Heavyweight Title:

  • Hugs all around before the match.
  • Cody quickly tosses Ibushi out to focus on Omega.
  • Omega gets in the way of the Golden Triangle by Ibushi inadvertently saving Cody. 
  • Kitaro Crusher by Omega to Cody but Ibushi goes for the pin, Omega pulls him off. 
  • Explex by Cody to Omega, near fall. 
  • Front Release Vertical Suplex ringside by Cody to Ibushi driving him ribs first into the floor.
  • Cody backdrops Ibushi over the barricade into chairs in the crowd. Ibushi might have hurt his knee. 
  • The rise of the Terminator hits by Omega. 
  • More Bang for your Buck by Golden Lovers but Cody dodges and Omega goes for the One-Winged Angel on Ibushi out of nowhere but Kota fights out. 
  • Powerslam/Moonsault combo by Ibushi on Cody, near fall. 
  • While in Mid-Suplex by Omega, Cody rolls up Kenny for a near fall. Innovative little spot there. 
  • Figure 4 by Cody locked in on Omega, Omega grabs the foot of Kota and applies an ankle lock. Standing moonsault by Ibushi on Omega still in the hold, near fall save by Cody. 
  • Standing Moonsault by Ibushi but Cody gets his knees up. 
  • V-Trigger attempt by Omega intercepted with a missile dropkick by Ibushi. 
  • Spike DDT by Cody to Ibushi, near fall. 
  • Cody ducks a lariat by Ibushi and hits a great suicide dive to Omega ringside, Cody stops the Golden Triangle and goes for a Cross Rhodes on the apron. Omega grabs Cody on the apron and drives him through the announce table with a powerbomb. 
  • Amazing Corkscrew Tope by Ibushi takes out Omega. 
  • Ibushi and Omega stand-off. Stares turn into strikes and a strikefest ensues. They take turns booting each other and then Ibushi hits his strike combo but Omega hits a stiff chop. Snap Dragon by Omega. Omega hits 2 consecutive V-Triggers into a reverserana but Ibushi lands on his feet. Stiff lariat by Ibushi flips Omega and ends an awesome sequence. 
  • Cody shoves Ibushi off the top rope to ringside and Ibushi takes a hard fall, Canadian Destroyer by Cody on Omega, near fall.
  • Omega escapes a Vertebreaker attempt by Cody and hits a spinning heel kick sending Cody into the corner. Hard corner V-trigger connects for Omega. 
  • Omega buckle bombs Ibushi into the corner with Cody in it putting Rhodes in the Tree of Woe. 
  • V-Trigger by Omega on Ibushi but the One-Winged Angel attempt fails. Lawn Dart by Ibushi sends Omega into the corner with Cody in the Tree of Woe, really smart spot. 
  • Deadlift German on the ropes by Ibushi fails but Omega goes for a springboard sunset flip, slips a little but still hits a pretty solid chain bomb. 
  • V-Trigger party by Omega, One Winged Angel attempt on Cody fails. Cody powerbombs Omega into a German Suplex by Ibushi using a Golden Lovers move. 
  • Cody pushes Omega off the top rope springboard to ringside through a table, great spot. Omega takes a hard landing.
  • Superplex by Kota but Cody holds on into a roll up, near fall. Would be a better spot if we didn’t see it in Scurrl vs. Kushida. 
  • Sit-out Powerbomb by Ibushi to Cody, great near fall. 
  • Kamegoye dodged by Cody but Ibushi maintains control into a German Suplex.
  • Kamegoye hits for Ibushi on Cody but Omega slides in to stop the referee’s hand, great near fall. 
  • Omega tries to apologize to Ibushi for costing him the title but Ibushi strikes at Omega. An intense strikefest ensues, Cody tries to join but Ibushi slaps him down. The stiff strikefest ensues and Ibushi gets Omega on the ground and hits more palm strikes. This is a different Ibushi than normal. Bomaye hits for Ibushi, near fall. 
  • Kamegoye attempt by Ibushi but Cody pulls him ringside. Cody hits a Cross Rhodes on Omega, great near fall save by Ibushi making the diving double stomp hit the pin. 
  • Another Cross Rhodes hit for Cody, amazing near fall on Omega. 
  • Vertebreaker by Cody hits on Ibushi, near fall save by Kenny. 
  • Cody grabs his US Title but decides not to use it. He grabs a steel chair anyway. Ibushi saves Omega from a steel chair shot.
  • Reverserana into a Jay Driller by Omega on Ibushi, great near fall. 
  • V-Trigger into a One-Winged Angel that hits for Omega closing the match. 

Winner: Kenny Omega Retains! Day Count: 119+ Days

Rating: ****1/2, This match flowed so well. Everyone in this match was a fantastic wrestler. I heard complaints about Cody being in this match but they are still going to have to save Omega vs. Ibushi for a larger show. The story between Omega and Ibushi was outstanding, especially after Omega broke up the pin after the Kamegoye on Cody. Kota wanted the title so bad that he kept striking on Omega and you could feel the heat and emotion. This match had some awesome near falls and the in-ring work was top notch. The main complaint with Cody is that he takes to long to focus on the match and he taunts too much, the triple threat environment forced him to keep up with 2 of the best wrestlers in the world which brought out the best Cody I’ve seen in a while. While the match is 5 stars, there have been so many 5 star matches this year which might make this towards the bottom of the top ten matches of the year but it was an absolute instant classic. It was a gamble too, the triple threat is new to NJPW and it had 2 foreigners in the match. It could’ve been badly received by the Japanese audience but it wasn’t and the gamble paid off big time. 

Grade: B

Last Words: This is a 3 match card, once you get into Kushida vs. Scurrl the show actually gets great. It’s hard to watch 2 hours of meaningless tag matches and love the show. The final 3 matches were all great though. This has been my main complaint about NJPW, they use too many tag matches and that takes away from the show as a whole. On something like a Progress Chapter or an NXT Takeover the cards are a lot smaller but also have a lot less filler. This isn’t the best NJPW show this year by a long shot but it’s also been one of New Japan’s best years. The Long Beach show last week was better but this still wasn’t bad. This show also worked as a storyline progression show as well. The additions of new storyline development in Jay White vs Hiroshi Tanahashi with adding Firing Squad into the mix and the new member of LIJ helped make this show significant. If you are rushed, only watch the LIJ tag match, Tanahashi vs. White, Scurrl vs. Kushida, and the Main Event. 

MOTN: Cody vs. Kenny Omega vs. Kota Ibushi for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship

MVP: Kenny Omega 

The Race for Wrestler of the Year: September 2018

njpw-kazuchika-okadaThe Wrestler of the Month: Kazuchika Okada, Okada has been on a tear the entire year but now that he doesn’t have to keep the IWGP Championship schedule he was on, he has a lot more freedom to wrestle where he wants. He had an amazing match against Marty Scurrl at All in getting a ****3/4 star rating, had a MOTY contender against Hiroshi Tanahashi at NJPW Destruction in Kobe getting a ***** star rating, and capped off his month in one of the best tag matches I’ve ever seen teaming up against Tomohiro Ishii to face the Golden Lovers grabbing another ***** star rating. Kazuchika Okada went absolutely mental this month and made 3 separate excursions into the US in a span of a month.

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Women’s Wrestler of the Month: Becky Lynch, Lynch has been on a roll for a long time and has finally been booked correctly and this month it finally came into action as she beat Charlotte for the Smackdown Women’s Title in a good match. The achievement of winning the title isn’t all that got her Women’s Wrestler of the month, her character as a heel who’s been out of the spotlight is very refreshing and in WWE’s current landscape a refreshing character is a great thing. 

0930_09Match of the Month: Kazuchika Okada and Tomohiro Ishii vs the Golden Lovers, I’m normally someone who wants to put a great match with a storyline over a match with a better in-ring performance but that went the opposite way this month. Up until 3 days ago, when this match happened, I thought nothing could top Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Kazuchika Okada but then these 4 came along. This match absolutely ruled these 4 men couldn’t put on a bad match if they tried. It was amazing to see Okada and Omega, who had my current MOTY, in the ring again together but that wasn’t all that made this special, Kota Ibushi and Tomohiro Ishii towards the end had an amazing sequence of moves that just battered the hell out of each other. This match was 100 MPH towards the end with one of my favorite closing sequences of the year and these 4 put on one of my favorite tag matches of all time in terms of in-ring work. 

allin2Feud of the Month: Marty Scurrl vs. Kazuchika Okada, the story here was simple, nobody thought Scurrl could beat Okada and Scurrl tried to improve himself to get on the level of Okada creating a multi-layered really fun storyline. Marty Scurrl delivered a great performance in the storyline but also the match and Kazuchika Okada played the perfect legend that Scurrl had to take down. One of my favorite near falls came from this match, when the referee was down Scurrl hit Okada with the umbrella and a rainmaker finisher and got really close to 3. Scurrl improved his ability to tell a story by being in this feud and it really stood out in a busy wrestling month. 

all-in-thumbThe team of the Month: So Cal Uncensored, while I could’ve given this to the Golden Lovers and had Kenny Omega get even more points I decided that SCU had a better performance this month. These guys have been a great comedy act for a while now and this month decided to go after the ROH tag titles. They delivered a good match at All In against the Briscoes, they delivered a great match again against the Briscoes at Death Before Dishonor, and a very solid tag match against Chase Owens and Hangman Page at NJPW FSU. These guys have shown that they are the perfect mix of comedy acts and in-ring talents this month and I’m excited to see the future for these guys. 

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Most Improved: Marty Scurrl, while there wasn’t a lot of room for improvement for Scurrl as he was already one of the top tier wrestlers, he showed a new side to him this month that I loved. Scurrl is focused on joint manipulation and being a dick mostly in matches. This month, in his feud with Okada he was an underdog fighting a heavyweight and showed that he can really play any role. Not only was he a great underdog he hung with Okada in a great match and delivered a great match against Will Ospreay at NJPW FSU and a 10-Man Tag at Death Before Dishonor. 

Champions:

WWE:

  • Universal: Roman Reigns 42+ Days
  • Raw Women’s: Ronda Rousey 42+ Days
  • IC: Seth Rollins 42+ Days
  • Cruiserweight: Cedric Alexander 175+ Days
  • Raw Tag: Drew Mcintyre and Dolph Ziggler 27+ Days
  • WWE: AJ Styles 327+ Days
  • SD Women’s: Becky Lynch 14+ Days
  • US: Shinsuke Nakamura 77+ Days
  • SD Tag: New Day 40+ Days
  • NXT: Tomasso Ciampa 74+ Days
  • NXT North American: Ricochet 43+ Days
  • NXT Women’s: Kairi Sane 42+ Days
  • NXT Tag: Undisputed ERA 101+ Days
  • UK: Pete Dunne 498+ Days
  • UK Women’s: Rhea Ripley 35+ Days
  • NJPW:
  • IWGP Heavyweight: Kenny Omega 115+ Days
  • IWGP IC: Chris Jericho 115+ Days
  • IWGP US: Cody 2+ Days
  • NEVER Openweight: Tai-Chi 15+ Days
  • IWGP Heavyweight Tag: Firing Squad 2+ Days
  • IWGP Jr Tag: Suzuki Gun (Yoshinobu Kanemaru and Desperado) 210+ Days
  • NEVER 6-man: Firing Squad (G.O.D and Ishimori) 51+ Days
  • ROH:
  • World: Jay Lethal 93+ Days
  • TV: Jeff Cobb 3+ Days
  • Tag: The Briscoes 206+ Days
  • 6-Man: The Young Bucks and Cody 72+ Days
  • WOH: Sumie Sakai 177+ Days
  • PWG:
  • World: Walter 164+ Days
  • Tag: The Rascalz 164+ Days
  • Progress:
  • World: Walter 69+ Days
  • Tag: Aussie Open 2+ Days
  • Atlas: Trent Seven 2+ Days
  • Women’s: Jinny 135+ Days

 

Over 4-Star Matches:

  • Joey Janela vs. Hangman Page Street Fight All In ****1/2
  • Cody Rhodes vs. Nick Aldis NWA Title All In ****1/4
  • Kenny Omega vs. Pentagon Jr All In ****3/4
  • Kazuchika Okada vs. Marty Scurrl All In ****3/4
  • The Young Bucks and Kota Ibushi vs. Bandido, Rey Mysterio and Fenix All in ****
  • Jay Lethal vs. Jonathan Gresham ROH World Title Iron Man Match ****
  • Kenny Omega and Kota Ibushi vs. Tomohiro Ishii and Will Ospreay NJPW Road to Destruction ****1/2
  • Kenny Omega vs. Tomohiro Ishii IWGP Heavyweight Title Destruction in Hiroshima ****3/4
  • Drew Mcintyre and Dolph Ziggler vs. Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins RAW Tag Team Titles WWE Hell In a Cell ****1/2
  • AJ Styles vs. Samoa Joe WWE Title Hell in a Cell ****
  • Drew Gulak vs. Cedric Alexander Cruiserweight Title 205 Live ****1/2
  • Ricochet vs. Pete Dunne Champ vs. Champ Match NXT TV ****1/2
  • Kushida vs. Bushi IWGP JR Title Tournament NJPW Destruction in Kobe ****1/4
  • Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Kazuchika Okada G1 Briefcase NJPW Destruction in Kobe *****
  • Bullet Club (The Young Bucks, Marty Scurrl, Hangman Page, and Cody) vs. Chaos (Best Friends, Kazuchika Okada, Tomohiro Ishii, and Rocky Romero) ROH DBD ****
  • Jay Lethal vs. Will Ospreay ROH World Title Death Before Dishonor ****3/4
  • Jeff Cobb, Chris Sabin, and Flip Gordon vs Hirooki Goto and The Best Friends NJPW FSU ****
  • Will Ospreay vs. Marty Scurrl IWGP Jr Title Tournament NJPW FSU ****1/2
  • The Young Bucks vs. Firing Squad IWGP Heavyweight Tag Titles NJPW FSU ****1/4
  • Cody vs. Juice Robinson IWGP US Title NJPW FSU ****1/4
  • Kota Ibushi and Kenny Omega vs. Kazuchika Okada and Tomohiro Ishii NJPW FSU *****

kennyStill Leader of the Race: Kenny Omega

  1. Kenny Omega: 234 Points
  2. Kazuchika Okada: 221 Points
  3. The Young Bucks: 167 Points
  4. Kota Ibushi: 155 Points
  5. Will Ospreay: 140 Points
  6. Zack Sabre Jr: 132 Points
  7. Hiromu Takahashi: 127 Points
  8. Walter: 120 Points
  9. Johnny Gargano: 116 Points
  10. Hiroshi Tanahashi: 112 Points
  11. Undisputed ERA: 105 Points
  12. Tomasso Ciampa: 102 Points
  13. Tomohiro Ishii: 95 Points
  14. Marty Scurrl -AJ Styles: 93 Points
  15. Seth Rollins: 85 Points
  16. Cody Rhodes: 73 Points
  17. Adam Cole -Sanada -Hangman Page: 66 Points
  18. Tyler Bate -Hirooki Goto: 65 Points
  19. Trent Seven -Cedric Alexander: 60 Points
  20. Alexa Bliss: 58 Points
  21. Jay Lethal -Travis Banks: 57 Points
  22. Pete Dunne: 56 Points
  23. Jay White -Tetsuya Naito -Dalton Castle: 55 Points
  24. Andrade Almas: 50 Points
  25. Brock Lesnar: 49 Points
  26. Zack Gibson: 48 Points
  27. Juice Robinson: 47 Points
  28. Flip Gordon -Minoru Suzuki -Evil -The Briscoes -Kushida: 45 Points
  29. Matt Riddle: 44 Points
  30. Ricochet: 43 Points
  31. Shinsuke Nakamura: 42 Points
  32. The Miz -Chris Jericho: 40 Points
  33. Jeff Cobb: 39 Points
  34. El Desperado: 38 Points
  35. Aleister Black -Michael Elgin: 35 Points
  36. Dolph Ziggler: 33 Points
  37. Dragon Lee –So Cal Uncensored -Taiji Ishimori -Roman Reigns: 32 Points
  38. Braun Strowman -Finn Balor -Becky Lynch -The Rascalz: 30 Points
  39. Chuck Taylor:29 Points
  40. Firing Squad -Bandido: 28 Points
  41. Ronda Rousey: 26 Points
  42. Jonathan Gresham -Charlotte: 25 Points
  43. Matt Taven -Yoshinobu Kanemaru: 23 Points
  44. Chris Sabin -Keith Lee: 22 Points
  45. Joey Janela -Roppongi 3k -Killian Dain -Kalisto -Ember Moon -Jeff Hardy -Velveteen Dream -Mustafa Ali -Buddy Murphy -The Bar -Sumie Sakai -Kairi Sane -David Starr -Doug Williams: 20 Points
  46. Jinny: 19 Points
  47. James Drake: 18 Points
  48. Danny Burch and Oney Lorcan -Bludgeon Brothers -Shayna Baszler -Punishment Martinez: 17 Points
  49. New Day: 16 Points
  50. Drew Gulak -Trent Baretta -Asuka -Usos -John Cena -Silas Young -Bobby Roode -EC3 -Kevin Owens -Timothy Thatcher: 15 Points
  51. Nia Jax -The Kingdom: 13 Points
  52. Toni Storm -Drew Mcintyre: 12 Points
  53. Samoa Joe -Pentagon Jr -Rey Fenix -Sanity -Kenny King -Dave Finlay -Lars Sullivan -Bray Wyatt -ACH -Jack Gallagher -Sasha Banks -Yoshi-Hashi -Rusev -Jonah Rock -Rey Horus -Aussie Open -Kassius Ohno -Jimmy Havoc: 10 Points
  54. Nick Aldis -Rey Mysterio -Dean Ambrose -Hideo Itami -Chase Owens -Beer City Bruiser -Shane Taylor -Togi Makabe -Sami Zayn -Baron Corbin -TJP -Akira Tozawa -Kurt Angle -HHH -Rysuke Taguchi -Naomi -Elias -Daniel Bryan -Rhea Ripley -Adam Brooks -Brody King -Mark Haskins -Chris Brookes -Jordan Devlin

 

NJPW Fighting Spirit Unleashed 2018 Review: NJPW in America and Golden Lovers vs. Tomohiro Ishii and Kazuchika Okada

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Results + Star Ratings:

  • Rysuke Taguchi, Jushin Liger, and ACH defeated Roppongi 3K via pin @8:55 ***1/4
  • So Cal Uncensored (The Addiction) defeated Bullet Club (Hangman Page and Chase Owens) via pin @8:12 ***1/2
  • Jeff Cobb, Chris Sabin, and Flip Gordon defeated Chaos (Goto and Best Friends) via pin @12:06 ****
  • Suzuki Gun (ZSJ and Killer Elite Squad) defeated Los Ignobernables (Tetsuya Naito, Evil, and Sanada) via pin @9:22 **1/2
  • Gedo and Jay White defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi and Kushida via pin @8:49 **1/2
  • Marty Scurrl defeated Will Ospreay to advance to the finals of the IWGP Jr Title Tournament via pin @16:10 ****1/2
  • Firing Squad defeated The Young Bucks to win the IWGP Tag Titles via pin @19:20 ****1/4
  • Cody defeats Juice Robinson to win the IWGP US Title via pin @16:43 ****1/4
  • The Golden Lovers defeated Kazuchika Okada and Tomohiro Ishii via pin @23:05 *****

 

Roppongi 3K vs. Rysuke Taguchi, Jushin Liger, and ACH:

  • Liger and Yoh start the match.
  • A good face-off between Yoh and Liger.
  • Surfboard Lock by Liger to Yoh, ACH, and Taguchi put ankle locks on Rocky and Sho creating a triple submission spot. 
  • Taguchi coaches his team to lariat Yoh in the corner. Taguchi follows it up with a hip attack. 
  • Yoh whips Liger into Taguchi’s butt and Yoh grabs Taguchi’s ass sending him to ringside, wrestling is weird.
  • Sho inadvertently punches Romero off the apron, Liger hits a tilt a whirl backbreaker to Sho, hot tag by ACH leads to him hitting an awesome suicide crossbody. 
  • German Suplex Bridge by ACH on Sho, first near fall. 
  • Hot tag by Taguchi fails as he misses a Hip attack on Romero, Romero takes the momentum and hits 2 lariats to Taguchi in the corner. Taguchi goes on a hip attack rampage. 
  • Lungblower/Double Superkick combo by R3K on Taguchi, near fall. 
  • Great suicide dive by ACH wipes out Sho and Yoh, Dodon by Taguchi on Romero closes the match.

Winners: Liger, ACH, and Taguchi

Rating: ***1/4, a very fun tag team sprint. Taguchi played the comedy wrestler but took a lot of the offense of this match, ACH delivered some great dives, and it’s always great to see Liger. R3K is always fantastic and delivered here. A good opener to start the show. 

So Cal Uncensored vs. Chase Owens and Hangman Page:

  • SCU finally back in Southern California. 
  • Frankie Kazarian and Hangman Page start the match, a former feud in ROH. 
  • Kazarian’s head is patched up after the Briscoes match at Death Before Dishonor. 
  • Lariat sequence by Page and Kazarian leads to both men making tags. 
  • Great Dropsault combo by Page onto Kazarian, first near fall.
  • Standing Shooting Star Press by Page onto Kazarian, another near fall. 
  • Bullet Club isolating Kazarian, Kazarian finally makes the tag and Daniels does a  hot tag. 
  • Wheelbarrow Facebuster by Daniels on Owens, near fall. 
  • Buckshot Lariat by Page knocks Daniels down, Springboard Backbreaker by Owens on Daniels, another near fall. 
  • Shooting Star Shoulder Block off the apron by Page caught in mid-air by Kazarian with a codebreaker. 
  • Best Meltzer Ever by SCU closes Owens. 

Winners: So Cal Uncensored

Rating: ***1/2, another fun sprint with a hometown SCU and the very talented Hangman Page. The pacing was great, the spots were great, and Page really shined. Another good opening tag match. 

Chaos (Hirooki Goto and The Best Friends) vs. Jeff Cobb, Chris Sabin, and Flip Gordon:

  • Having Cobb with the ROH TV title kinda spoils the fact that he wins at a taping because it hasn’t been broadcasted yet. Weird move. 
  • Chuck Taylor and Chris Sabin start the match.
  • Early roll up attempts by Sabin and Taylor leads to near falls. 
  • Triple Strikefest ensues with the match participants.
  • Tandem Sequence by Team ROH leads to a near fall by Sabin on Taylor. 
  • Crucifix Cutter by Best Friends takes out Flip, Cobb teases a suicide dive on Best Friends but Goto stops it with a lariat, apron Penalty Kick by Sabin to Goto, Trent teases a suicide dive but Taylor stops him with a hug. The Best friends hit stereo tope con hiro taking everyone out. 
  • Standing Elbow Drop by Goto on Sabin, near fall. Sabin has been the only one legal for his team in the 5 minutes so far. 
  • A stiff chop by Baretta fires up Sabin inciting a chopfest but Trent wins. 
  • Sabin drop toe holds Taylor into Baretta headbutting a low blow, Tornado DDT by Sabin finally opens up tags. 
  • Amazing Hot tag by Flip Gordon, Great diving corkscrew off the top rope to the outside by Flip. Springblade by Flip gets Baretta into the drop zone for the 450. Baretta dodges and lays Flip out with a running knee. 
  • Tags made to Goto and Cobb, it’s big boi time. Double Lariat sequence, Goto knocks down Cobb first. Saito suplex by Goto, near fall. 
  • Deadlift Vertical Suplex by Cobb followed but by a standing moonsault that misses. Great mini-sequence between Cobb and Goto. 
  • The Best Friends suplex Cobb together, Cobb Saito suplexes both of them.
  • Taylor hits a great deadlift piledriver on Cobb, near fall save by Sabin. 
  • Diving Moonsault by Taylor misses, lariat by Cobb into the Wrath of the Gods.

Winners: Jeff Cobb, Flip Gordon, and Chris Sabin

Rating: ****, this was as close as perfection an NJPW opening tag match can get. Everybody performed great especially Jeff Cobb and put on a great tag match. The dynamic of comedy spots from the Best Friends, high spots from Flip Gordon, hard-hitting action from Cobb and Goto and the underdog Sabin mixed greatly to make one of the best opening tag matches I’ve ever seen in New Japan. 

Zack Sabre Jr. and Killer Elite Squad vs. Los Ignobernables:

  • Suzuki Gun attacks early. 
  • Pop-Up powerslam by K.E.S to Sanada. Davey Boy goes to attack Evil ringside.
  • Davey Boy works the leg of Sanada. Series of German suplexes by Davey Boy but Sanada flips over the 3rd one and goes for a tag but Lance Archer tries to stop it, after a huricanrana by Sanada to Archer, Naito tags in. Hot tag by Naito. 
  • Sidewalk Splash by K.E.S on Naito, near fall. 
  • Naito fights out of a Killer Bomb attempt by K.E.S and hits a Tornado DDT on Archer. Evil and ZSJ tag in. 
  • Strikefest between ZSJ and Evil. Double Wristlock by ZSJ, Evil powers into a fisherman’s buster.
  • One-Arm Plancha by Sanada knocks out K.E.S, in-ring, Evil hits Darkness Falls, near fall. 
  • Victory Roll with the middle fingers up by ZSJ closes Evil. 

Winner: Suzuki Gun

Rating: **1/2, a very mediocre Suzuki Gun match with them doing heel Suzuki Gun things. L.I.J never got in a groove and this match was heel work then it was done. 

Jay White and Gedo vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi and Kushida:

  • Set up at Destruction in Kobe when Jay White attacked Okada and Tana post-match, the only G1 match that Hiroshi Tanahashi lost was to Jay too. 
  • Tanahashi went straight to attacking White having them start the match.
  • Tana popped up on the post and White pushes him to ringside, White tries to choke out Tana with his boot against the barricade. 
  • Saito Suplex by White on Tana, first near fall.
  • Tanahashi being isolated by White and Gedo, Tana looks pretty hurt. Limp Crossbody by Tana takes down Gedo, Tana finally makes the tag. 
  • Hot tag by Kushida. Jumping DDT into a Cross Armbreaker by Kushida on Gedo, White breaks the hold. 
  • Handspring Elbow by Kushida knocks White down and opens the tag to Tana.
  • Hot tag by Tanahashi on White. Blade Runner attempt countered into a Twist and Shout by Tanahashi.
  • Slingblade by Tana, near fall. 
  • White grabs Tiger Hattori to distract him, Gedo lays out Tana with Brass Knuckles. Blade Runner by White closes the match.

Winner: Jay White and Gedo

Rating: **1/2, this follows the trend of Gedo (NJPW’s secret booker) trying to turn New Japan Pro Wrestling into a better in-ring, Attitude Era WWE with the brass knuckle finish. This was a very story-based match and rightfully so not only is the whole Gedo and White vs. Okada and Tana story great it’s also the biggest story right now in NJPW. White seems to be strapped as the next golden boy of NJPW. This match, however, was too story focused to be anything other than mediocre and that’s not a complaint but it had some great talent in it and if it wanted to be great it could’ve been. I’m excited for the future of this feud. 

  • Post-match promo by Jay White, White says NJPW doesn’t want him to be in the Main Event of WrestleKingdom but he will bring on a new era. 

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Marty Scurrl vs. Will Ospreay IWGP Jr Championship Tournament:

  • These guys have my current favorite rivalry of all time in term of match quality, I gave their match at Power Struggle last year 4.75 * and their match at Sakura Genesis this year 5*. Their matches always manage to impress me a bit more than Kenny vs. Okada’s even though I like those matches better. 
  • Immediate Spanish Fly by Ospreay into a near fall.
  • Space Flying Tiger Drop into a Shooting Star Press early by Ospreay, near fall. Awesome opening sequence by Ospreay. 
  • Flying Forearm by Ospreay, Will slows his offense down.
  • Winner faces Kushida at King of Pro Wrestling for the Jr Title. 
  • Uppercuts by Scurrl knock Ospreay ringside, stiff apron superkick by Scurrl lands. 
  • Stomp on the head of Ospreay by Scurrl followed up by a sequence of stiff chops by Scurrl. Marty gains firm control.
  • Scurrl drapes Ospreay over the middle rope and stomps him over it torquing his neck.
  • Handspring Enzugiri by Ospreay gives Will much-needed space. 
  • Top Rope 619 by Ospreay followed by a failed springboard, Scurrl knocks Ospreay ringside. Scurrl chops Ospreay into the barricade. They go on the apron and strike-off. 
  • Attempt at the Spanish Fly on the apron by Ospreay, the move that crushed Will’s neck at Sakura Genesis. 
  • Amazing Sunset Bomb by Ospreay to ringside with Scurrl on the apron. Tribute to Hiromu Takahashi.
  • Great Robinson Special by Ospreay, Oscutter caught by Scurrl into a backslide rolled into a knee by Scurrl. 
  • Stormbreaker attempt by Ospreay but Scurrl gets out, mini-strikefest into a huge lariat by Ospreay. 
  • Top Rope Fighting led to Ospreay falling and low blowing himself on the top rope, awesome springboard supercanrana by Scurrl. Scurrl follows it up with a huge lariat, near fall. 
  • Stiff chops by Scurrl but Ospreay refuses to go down. Welts grow on the chest of Ospreay. Ospreay starts to strike back. Mid-air counter into the Chicken Wing by Scurrl, roll up by Ospreay near fall, roll up by Scurrl near fall. Sequence including a powerbomb near fall by Scurrl, graduation attempt by Scurrl but Ospreay hits an enzugiri putting both down.
  • Stormbreaker attempt but Scurrl carries Ospreay on his shoulders to the top rope, Ospreay fights out and hits the Cheeky Nandos kick. Scurrl takes Ospreay down off standing on the top rope, Chicken Wing attempt on the top by Scurrl transitions into an Underhook superplex by Scurrl, near fall. 
  •  Package Piledriver into the Graduation by Scurrl closes the match. 

Winner: Marty Scurrl advances!

Rating: ****1/2, this was a great sprint and a good addition to the Scurrl vs. Ospreay story. The spots were great and the starting opening offense by Ospreay got the crowd really hot. These 2 have natural chemistry and played off of it the entire match. However, it lacked the urgency that the Sakura Genesis match had. It was a great match for the IWGP Jr Tourney but is their first encounter in the past 2 years in NJPW that hasn’t been a MOTY contender. I’m not complaining though, they didn’t need to put on an absolute classic and what was here was a very high-quality Junior Heavyweight match. It was jarring to see Ospreay as a dastardly heel in Progress and ROH but be the underdog in this match. Also, Scurrl put Ospreay away with relative ease compared to what it normally takes to beat Ospreay but I’m over-thinking it. 

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The Young Bucks(c) vs. The Firing Squad IWGP Tag Titles:

  • The Elite vs OG storyline has been great so far. 
  • Big fight feel.
  • Nick Jackson and Tama Tonga start the match. 
  • Great speed showdown from Nick and Tama. Double strikefest with everyone in the match. 
  • Haku accompanies Firing Squad. 
  • Pop-up Double Dropkick by the Bucks starts a solid tandem sequence of moves by Matt and Nick. 
  • Matt’s back went out on him, this is going to play majorly into the story of the match.
  • Tonga Loa bodyslams Matt ringside targeting the back.
  • Loa tries to superplex Matt off the apron onto a table but Nick saves him. Nick hits a great suicide dive driving Loa into the barricade.
  • Great mini-sequence of offense by Nick on the OGs, Loa flattens it with a stiff lariat. Matt climbs to the top, Loa throws him off the top rope through the table ringside. Great spot, Matt will be out of the match for a while isolating Nick.
  • Diving Headbutt by Loa, Frog Splash by Tama on Nick, near fall. 
  • Long-Holding vertical suplex by Loa on Nick, very near fall.
  • Great Springboard Facebuster by Nick on Tama followed by an apron moonsault by Nick to Loa ringside.
  • Nick goes to make a tag but Matt is still on the floor, Tonga Twist by Tama on Nick, near fall. 
  • Tama Twist countered by Nick handstanding, superkick by Nicks takes both out.
  • Matt makes the hot tag successfully, Cease and Desist Sharpshooter by Matt on Tama, Loa takes a shot at the back of Matt to stop the submission. 
  • Fire up spear by Matt takes both Tama and him down, tags are made.
  • Superkick Party by the Bucks on Loa, great near fall.
  • Nick helps Matt get Loa up for the More Bang for Your Buck, Nick hits the 450 but Matt hesitates on the Moonsault, Matt finally hits the moonsault on Loa, near fall. 
  • Meltzer Driver stopped by Tama hitting an awesome Mid-air gun stun on Nick, Tombstone by Loa on Matt, awesome near fall. 
  • Matt fights out of the Magic Killer attempt by the Og’s but they get him back in on a pop-up Gun Stun closing the match. 

Winners: Firing Squad New Champions!

Rating: ****1/4, The story behind this match was great. This is the first huge match behind the Firing Squad vs. Bullet Club Elite feud. In this match, Matt Jackson brought back his back injuries which added a lot more urgency and story to an already story-packed match. The match started really hot and continued hot with some great spots. Everyone in this match contributed to something great but my only complaint is the section with Firing Squad on top was too long and got boring. The comeback for the Bucks was great and the ending sequence was pretty good. 

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Juice Robinson(c) vs. Cody for the IWGP US Title:

  • After All In as a face, Cody turns the heel on tonight.
  • Stiff chops by Cody fire up Juice and they start the momentum 3 minutes in. 
  • Dive off the top rope to ringside by Cody is caught into an overhead suplex by Juice.
  • Brandi flops after Juice barely touched her, distracting Juice into an inverted DDT by Cody ringside.
  • Brandi grabs Juice’s foot distracting him, Juice comes ringside. On his way back in, Cody hits a flatliner in between the ropes, near fall. 
  • Pulp Friction attempt by Juice, Backslide roll up by Cody, near fall. Pile roll up by Juice, near fall. 
  • Cannonball into the corner by Juice into a powerbomb attempt, Cody hits a huricanrana to Juice sending him into the corner, cheap shot by Brandi on Juice. 
  • Juice ducks a disaster kick and hits a diving crossbody to Cody, Juice hurts his ribs and is unable to make the pin. 
  • Pulp Friction attempt by Juice reversed into a Figure Four by Cody, Juice flips the hold after a while in the lock. 
  • Cody takes off the weightlifting belt, distracting Red Shoes. With Red Shoes distracted, Cody spits water at Juice and hits a Disaster Kick, near fall. 
  • Pulp Friction hits for Juice finally but Brandi pulls Cody ringside so Juice is unable to capitalize. 
  • The count starts but Juice doesn’t want to accept the win via countout.
  • Cross Rhodes ringside by Cody both back in at 19. 
  • Strikefest ensues but Cody wins with a superkick after a thumb to the eye. Cody goes for the Vertebreaker.
  • Cody hits a great Vertebreaker, great near fall. 
  • Superplex by Juice, Cody holds onto Juice in a small package getting a roll-up victory.

Winner: Cody New Champion!

Rating: ****1/4, Cody used his shenanigans again to win but that didn’t take too much away from the match. Juice is raw talent and emotion and delivered an amazing performance in this match. Cody is my favorite wrestler currently and used his great character to perfection in this match. This is my favorite NJPW Cody match since his match against Kota Ibushi at WK12. I feel like the win was unneeded for Cody and I felt bad for Juice because he’s just such a likable guy but that’s not a complaint with the match. 

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Kazuchika Okada and Tomohiro Ishii vs. The Golden Lovers:

  • Kazuchika Okada and Kota Ibushi start the match. 
  • Kenny Omega and Tomohiro Ishii face-off. These 2 strike-off for a little bit.
  • Kitaro Crusher by Omega on Ishii, near fall. 
  • Stiff strikes from Ibushi and Ishii to each other, a shoulder block by Ishii trucks over Ibushi. 
  • Neckbreaker by Okada on Ibushi, near fall.
  • Ishii and Omega brawl at each other again. Ishii takes Omega ringside and runs him into the barricades. 
  • The match has been building up to Omega’s face off with Okada. I’m excited. 
  • Hot tag by Omega to Ishii, Ishii and Omega strike off again but Omega gets the upper hand with a Tornado DDT and Omega lands awkwardly on his knee. 
  • Okada and Omega are finally both tagged in at 11 minutes in but don’t face off immediately. 
  • Cross Slash Moonsault Dives by the Golden Lovers. 
  • You Can’t Escape into Double Team Moonsaults by the GL, near fall on Okada. 
  • Great vertical suplex by Ibushi to Ishii, a powerful shotgun dropkick by Okada knocks Ibushi into the corner. Omega and Okada finally face off.
  • Omega and Okada strike-off, stiff chop by Omega, Omega dodges the dropkick by Okada. The first rainmaker fails, One Winged Angel attempt by Omega fails, Another Rainmaker attempt by Okada fails, Dragon Suplex by Omega hits. 
  • Great Dropkick by Okada to Omega.
  • Ibushi saves Omega from a Rainmaker, V-Trigger/German Suplex combo by GL, Ibushi dives down Ishii allowing Omega and Okada to face off. 
  • Tombstone/Running clothesline by Okada and Ishii, near fall save by Ishii. 
  • Rainmaker by Okada countered into a stiff uranage by Omega.
  • “This is Awesome” chants. 
  • Ibushi and Ishii strikefest again, mid kick by Ibushi takes Ishii down. Knee Drop moonsault by Ibushi, near fall. 
  • Powerbomb/German Suplex combo by GL, near fall save by Okada. 
  • Okada saves Ishii from the Golden Trigger. 
  • Dropkick by Okada into an amazing mid-air powerbomb counter by Omega, Backflip kick by Ibushi to Ishii puts all 4 down. The crowd gives a standing ovation. 
  • Ibushi and Ishii strike off yet again, Ibushi hits a huge lariat taking down Ishii, near fall. 
  • Kamegoye by Ibushi dodged by Ishii, huge lariat by Ishii flips Ibushi, very near fall. 
  • Okada Dropkick sends Ibushi into a powerbomb by Ishii, great near fall.
  • German Suplex Bridge by Ibushi to Ishii, very near fall.
  • Enzugiri/V-Trigger combo by GL takes Ishii down. Omega kicks Okada off the apron into the barricade. Golden Trigger by GL pins Ishii closing the match. 

Winners: Golden Lovers

Rating: *****, while Golden Lovers Vs. The Young Bucks was better due to the mix of storyline drama and huge spots, this comes a close second as my favorite tag match of the year and maybe all time. This match focused all on in-ring work and it was between 4 guys who couldn’t have a bad match if they tried. I absolutely loved every second of this match. The hard-hitting Ibushi and Ishii parts of the match especially towards the end was fantastic, the Omega vs. Okada part was fantastic as well and the sheer creativeness of some of the moves in this match made it something special. While the big showdown of Tanahashi vs. Okada was amazing it was something we had already seen before. This match because of the tag elements was incredibly refreshing and had some of the best in-ring work I’ve seen all year so it becomes my Match of the Month for September. 

Grade: A+

Last Word: This is easily the best wrestling show since Dominion this year and even though Dominion was better this showed a lot as well too. The flow of this show was fantastic starting with good opening tag matches and starting the second half with an electric Jr. Title match in Scurrl vs. Ospreay, The IWGP Tag Title match was really good and so was Juice vs. Cody but the Main Event Tag was amazing and one of my favorite matches of the year. I don’t think it’s quite MOTY but it’s in my top ten. NJPW delivered again and this is their best show in America yet. 

ROH Death Before Dishonor Review

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Star Ratings + Results: 

  • Kenny King defeats Jushin Liger @12:11 via pinfall ***1/2
  • The Briscoes defeat The Addiction to retain the ROH Tag Titles @17:42 via pinfall ***3/4
  • Tenille Dashwood defeats Sumie Sakai to retain the WOH Title @13:05 via submission ***1/2
  • Punishment Martinez defeats Chris Sabin to retain the TV Title @7:59 via pinfall ***
  • Bully Ray and Silas Young defeat Colt Cabana and Flip Gordon in an Elimination Tables Match @13:29 ***1/4
  • Bullet Club defeats Chaos @21:14 via submission ****1/4
  • Jay Lethal defeats Will Ospreay @22:45 via pinfall ****3/4

 

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Kenny King vs. Jushin Liger:

  • An interesting big match for Jushin Liger reminiscent of Liger vs. Tyler Breeze at NXT Takeover. 
  • Liger sends King outside and hits a cannonball off the apron.
  • Liger ducks a few great looking kicks from King on the apron but King cuts him down, great corkscrew tope by King wipes Liger out ringside.
  • King is working the back of Liger and hits a backbreaker for the first near fall.
  • Boston Crab by King focuses on the worked back of Liger, Liger grabs the ropes.
  • Shotei palm strike by Liger into a wheelbarrow kick for a near fall on King.
  • Chin Checker into a Spinning Enzugiri by King, near fall. 
  • Chops by Liger into a failed Shotei, King hits a swinging backbreaker for a near fall.
  • Superplex by Liger, Liger takes out his own back in the process. 
  • Inside Cradle by Liger, near fall. Bulldog by Liger gets King down for a Frog Splash, near fall. Liger sells the back again. 
  • Kenny King shows respect for Liger while he’s down getting his back checked by the referee. Once Liger gets up, King shows a dirty side and hits a Spinebuster for the win. 

Winner: Kenny King

Rating: ***1/2, A good technical opener and it’s always great to see Jushin Liger in the spotlight. Kenny King keeps showing a lot of potentials recently and in this match he really shined hanging with the legend. Kenny delivers a great heel ending turning on Liger out of nowhere and delivering the spinebuster FTW. 

briscoesdanielskazThe Briscoes vs. So Cal Uncensored for the ROH Tag Titles:

  • SCU cuts a surprisingly face promo and The Briscoes cut a very creepy Bray Wyatt-like segment. 
  • Rematch from All In when Kazarian and Sky beat the Briscoes.
  • Jay Briscoe and Christopher Daniels start but a brawl ensues early. 
  • Good showing of Tandem offense by The Addiction take out both Briscoes. 
  • Kazarian chases Mark with a chair, Jay wipes out Kaz with a Baseball Dropkick. Great off-the-apron blockbuster by Jay onto Daniels. 
  • Running Shotgun Dropkick ringside by Jay floors Daniels.
  • Briscoes isolate Daniels, Jay takes him ringside and throws him into the barricade, big boot by Mark takes down Daniels. 
  • Rollins DVD into a Froggy Bow attempt by Jay, Blue Thunder Bomb by Daniels looks to open up tags but Mark stops it. 
  • Kazarian finally makes the hot tag, Great Combo Stunner/DDT by Kazarian for the first near fall. 
  • Great springboard huricanrana to ringside by Kazarian, Mark takes the energy out of Kaz with another big boot. 
  • Mark sets up chairs back-to-back but Daniels saves Kazarian with a diving crossbody. 
  • Combo Blue Thunder Neckbreaker by SCU, near fall on Mark. 
  • Great Cannonball Dive over the post by Daniels isolating Mark, slingshot cutter by Kaz for a near fall on Mark. 
  • Paul Turner the ref distracted allowing for a chair shot on Kazarian. Tope by Daniels. Stiff Uranage on a set-up chair by Jay to Kaz, Kaz looks to have his head busted open. Scorpio Sky runs down to check on him. The match is now 2-on-1.
  • Brainbuster by Jay on Daniels, near fall. 
  • Crucifix Neckbreaker by The Briscoes, very near fall on Daniels. If Kazarian is actually injured it would be smart to end this soon. 
  • If Kazarian isn’t actually injured, Daniels working alone against the Briscoes is pretty good storytelling.
  • Doomsday Device rolled through by Daniels stopping the move. 
  • Uranage into the Best Moonsault Ever by Daniels, very near fall save by Mark.
  • Jay Driller ringside by Mark Briscoe, great near fall inside the ring. Daniels is showing great resiliency. 
  • Jay Driller inside the ring by Mark Briscoe closes the match. 

Winner: The Briscoes Retain the Titles! Day Count: 202+

Rating: ***3/4, This match just barely tops the ALL IN tag match and both were great. The Briscoes looked dominant in this match and delivered some great tandem offense. The match was really going and heating up into a tag classic because both are established teams that have great chemistry but Frankie Kazarian gets hurt and isolates Daniels for the rest of the match. I was worried about Kazarian’s condition instead of the in-ring work but once the in-ring work picked back up again it very much delivered with Daniels turning in a great resilient performance.

Tenille Dashwood vs. Sumie Sakai for the WOH Title:

  • The first PPV defense of the WOH title after it meant literally nothing for a few months. 
  • Great Diving Crossbody by Sakai to Dashwood ringside.
  • Tenille protecting her taped up shoulder from Sakai who’s trying to work the arm. 
  • Super Butterfly Suplex by Dashwood, near fall on Sakai.
  • Really innovative Figure Four Chancery by Dashwood, Dashwood releases the hold and curbstomps Sakai, near fall. 
  • Huricanrana into a roll-up by Sakai, near fall. 
  • Shining Whizzer by Sakai, near fall. 
  • Allstar Smash by Sakai, very near fall. Tenille blocked some of the impact but fell on her shoulder. 
  • Armbar by Sakai, Dashwood gets ropes. 
  • Butterfly suplex into the corner by Dashwood. Tenille locks in the Tarantula Lock over the ropes. 
  • Hard landing for Sakai after a sliding powerbomb to ringside by Tenille. In-ring near fall on Sakai.
  • Roll up by Sakai caught into a German suplex affected by the shoulder by Dashwood, near fall. 
  • Strikefest into a powerbomb by Dashwood, Sakai transitions into an Armbar on the shoulder of Tenille, Dashwood passes out giving Sakai the win. 

Winner: Sumie Sakai Retains! Day Count: 174+

Rating: ***1/2, after nothing has happened with this belt or Sakai in ROH for MONTHS. It was very refreshing to see for these women to be in the spotlight and deliver. The match worked really well and Dashwood locked really good however the selling of the shoulder was a little weird and I didn’t know someone could pass out from an armbar. The work in this match was great and the sliding powerbomb by Dashwood to ringside is a standout spot from this match. Hopefully, more can be seen from the WOH division on this caliber. 

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Punishment Martinez vs. Chris Sabin for the ROH TV Title:

  • Chris Sabin gets his own really long comedy introduction. The feud here is centered around the retired tag partner of Sabin, Alex Shelley. 
  • Immediate chokeslam attempt by Martinez into a near fall rollup by Sabin.
  • Great Springboard Diving Crossbody to ringside by Sabin.
  • Suicide Dive by Sabin caught into a chokeslam on the apron by Martinez.
  • Stiff Lariat by Martinez knocks Sabin down taking his energy out. 
  • Supercanrana by Sabin takes Martinez off the top rope.
  • Strikes by Sabin fire up Martinez, Martinez falls to ringside and Sabin hits a suicide crossbody and a suicide dive to Martinez ringside.
  • Diving Dropkick by Sabin to Martinez back in-ring. 
  • Martinez boots Sabin into the referee and hits a spinning enzugiri taking Sabin out. Martinez grabs a chair, Sabin hits a Diving Tornado DDT onto the chair, near fall. 
  • Psycho Driver, Silencer Stomp and Chokeslam by Martinez closes the match.

Winner: Punishment Martinez retains! Day Count: 97+ 

Rating: ***, This match started well. Sabin looked great in this match with his comedy intro and his motivation to win the title. However, about 3 minutes in Martinez took over and dominated the rest of the match. There were dimensions that should’ve been played up to in this match with Sabin picking up the win but with Cobb being the likely next TV champ it makes sense. 

  • Post-match, Martinez grabs Sabin for the curb stomp on a chair. Jeff Cobb comes down surprisingly when you think it would be Alex Shelley and stares down Martinez. Martinez goes for a chair shot but it doesn’t phase Cobb and Martinez gets thrown around by Cobb. Great surprise appearance. 

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Flip Gordon and Colt Cabana vs. Bully Ray and Silas Young in an Elimination Table Match:

  • The new age talents vs. old age talents. Bully Ray still looks like just a salty has-been though. 
  • Flip attacks Bully Ray early. 
  • Kinder Suprise Kick knocks Silas off the top rope and allows Flip to hit the WAZZUP on Bully Ray with Cabana.
  • Bully Ray moves a table saving Silas from a double suplex through it. 
  • Double Backdrop by Silas and Ray but misses the table due to the save from Cabana. 
  • Great springboard moonsault by Cabana and a diving senton by Flip on Silas. Cabana misses a plancha dive allowing Ray to get back on top. Bully attacks Cabana with a steel chair. Bully talks trash to Ian Riccaboni, Ian goes down to ringside to save his friend Cabana. Suicide Dives by Flip knock both Bully and Silas out. Ian cheers on Cabana hitting Bully with a chair. 
  • Powerbomb by Bully sends Cabana through the announce table eliminating him.
  • Chopfest by Silas and Bully on Flip, Flip ducks Young sending him into Bully. Bully Ray saves Young from being whipped through a table. Miscommunication between Young and Bully starts a brawl.
  • Flip uses the table to flip off of, awesome and Bully Ray crashes through it eliminating himself. 
  • Silas lariats Flip flipping him off the apron crashing ringside. 
  • Misery attempt by Silas knocks out the ref, third ref knockout spot of the night. Awesome 450 through the table by Flip eliminates Silas but wait no ref can make the decision. Bully Ray attacks Flip Gordon making it look like he went through the table having the ref call the end for the old guys. Bad finish.

Winners: Silas Young and Bully Ray

Rating: ***1/4, This feud has had atrocious match after atrocious match and they finally managed to make a quality encounter. Flip Gordon delivered a great performance highlighted with the 450 through a table. The storytelling was decent and seeing Colt Cabana in-ring again is always welcome. Bully Ray is one of the worst things in wrestling currently and that still bleeds through. 

  • Tenille Dashwood shown attacked backstage.

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Bullet Club vs. Chaos:

  • Nick Aldis joins commentary.
  • Hangman Page and Tomohiro Ishii start the match. 
  • Stikefest from Page and Ishii fire up both men, suplex by Ishii ends the sequence.
  • Okada tags in and then Scurrl tags in getting a huge pop. ALL IN throwback stand-off from Marty and Okada, Okada tags in Rocky Romero.
  • Best Friends and The Young Bucks have a sequence. Best Friends stand tall.
  • Best Friends stereo dives and hug ringside.
  • Cody and Okada face-off.
  • Cody dives to ringside but nobody’s home, Barretta hits a tope to Cody, Shooting Star of the apron by Page to Baretta, Apron kick by Scurrl accidentally hits Page, Dive by Nick over Matt takes out the crowd ringside. Great Cannonball Dive off the stage by Chuckie T takes everyone out. Chaos calls for Ishii to dive and he hits a cannonball senton off the top rope to ringside, great dive sequence. 
  • Low Blow by Cody to Baretta with the ref distracted.
  • Superplex by Scurrl to Baretta on the top, near fall save by Romero. 
  • Lariat by Baretta to Cody opens up tags to Romero and Page, great hot tag by Romero. 
  • 5 Stereo Superkicks by all of Bullet Club takes out Rocky Romero. 
  • Hot tag by Okada, Double DDT on the Young Bucks by Okada. Reverse neckbreaker by Okada to Nick, near fall save by Matt Jackson. 
  • Great big move sequence from both teams men. Disaster kick by Cody doesn’t phase Ishii and Ishii takes out Page. Superkicks by the Bucks take out Ishii, Dropkick by Okada to Matt. Meltzer Driver stopped by Romero, Sliced Bread off the post by Taylor, Assisted Piledriver by Taylor and Okada on Matt, near fall save by Cody. 
  • Cody saves Matt from a Rainmaker and hits a Cross Rhodes on Okada. 
  • Rainmaker by Okada on Cody hits, near fall. 
  • Ishii and Page put on another sequence, maybe highlighting a singles match at a later date. Buckshot lariat by Page hits to Ishii. Rite Of Passage attempt fails and Ishii hits a stiff lariat, near fall save by Cody. 
  • Nick Aldis announces his match against Cody at NWA 70 will be 2 of 3 falls. 
  • Strikefest from Scurrl and Romero, Powerbomb by Scurrl, near fall. Chicken Wing attempt by Scurrl fails, Inadvertent superkick by Matt hits Scurrl. Romero stops the Meltzer Driver by sending Matt into Nick. Piledriver on the apron by Baretta to Matt Jackson. 
  • Counter into the Chicken Wing by Scurrl tapping out Romero. 

Winners: Bullet Club 

Rating: ****1/4, While it played out like the Survivor Series tag match from last year’s WWE Survivor Series with much of the beginning of the match focusing on star power, unlike that WWE match it really picked up and delivered some fun spots. Like most Bullet Club matches it was a great fury of dives and high spots. Everybody turned in a great performance in this match too which is rare for 10-man tags. I also loved the interaction between Hangman Page and Tomohiro Ishii which I’d love to see in a single’s match. This was fun and MOTN so far. 

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Jay Lethal vs. Will Ospreay for the ROH World Title:

  • Will Ospreay has gained a lot of muscle weight and comes into this match the heel. 
  • Ospreay takes a dirty shot firing up Lethal. Early finisher attempts by both men and they stare-off.
  • A chop by Lethal takes Ospreay off the top rope, 3 suicide dives by Jay Lethal. The third one knocks Ospreay into the crowd.
  • Great mini-sequence of dodges into the cartwheel dropkick by Lethal. 
  • Handspring enzugiri by Ospreay takes Lethal down.
  • Running Corner Dropkick by Ospreay, near fall.
  • Stiff chop in the corner by Lethal, Ospreay asks for more and gets it. Ospreay squares up again and asks for more, Lethal delivers a really stiff chop and Ospreay boots Lethal down to ringside, really fast suicide dive by Ospreay sends Lethal’s head into the barricade. 
  • Chops ringside by Lethal and they get out a ladder.
  • Springboard Forearm by Ospreay, near fall. 
  • Lethal Combination hits giving Lethal needed space. 
  • Strikefest into a huricanrana by Ospreay sending Lethal over the top rope. Flying Space Tiger Drop by Ospreay dodged by Lethal. A superkick by Lethal inadvertently hits Bobby Cruise and Ospreay catches the title, the referee checks on Bobby Cruise but Ospreay still doesn’t use the title. A strikefest ensues ringside, Flatliner by Lethal into the barricade. Lethal pulls the barricade to try and set up the ladder. 
  • DDT by Lethal drops Ospreay on his head in-ring, Lethal Injection taunt reversed into a reverserana by Ospreay. Flip-over into a sit-out powerbomb by Ospreay, near fall. 
  • “This is Awesome” chants.
  • Sunset Flip by Ospreay on the apron sends Lethal into the ladder set up against the barricade.
  • Dropkick to the back of the head of Lethal by Ospreay, Great wrap around kick by Ospreay. Oscutter caught into a cutter by Lethal, Lethal Injection caught into another wrap around kick by Ospreay. 
  • Ospreay teases using the title again, hits a great series of kicks and an Oscutter, amazing near fall. 
  • Supercanrana reversed into a super powerbomb by Lethal, Lethal Injection by Lethal closes the match.

Winner: Jay Lethal Retains! Day Count: 90+

Rating: ****3/4, ROH this year has been too focused on polishing its craft and not delivering great matches. There are a few standouts but nothing I’d say would rank on a MOTY contender list. Once Lethal grabbed the title you could tell something was gonna change and it did. Lethal has taken the belt and ran with it. This match here is ROH’s best match of this year by far. Will Ospreay showed up as a heel and that’s awesome and these 2 had amazing chemistry and from minutes in until the end, the match was flying. These two striked the hell out of each other and delivered some great high-flying. This match was a big highlight of this show and ROH’s MOTY (so far)

Show Grade: B-

Last Word: While most of this show was kinda lethargic and without urgency, the highs were higher than anything so far this year in ROH. The undercard was good starting with Liger vs. King, SCU vs. The Briscoes and Sakai vs. Dashwood all good matches but Martinez vs. Sabin was a stinker, however, the Cobb appearance made up for it. The final two matches were a great way to end the show, The 10-Man tag was mindless fun and the main event of Lethal vs. Ospreay was ROH’s MOTY so far. The total show felt long and had a lame mid-card but the undercard shined and so did the final 2 matches. So far in 2018 ROH hasn’t been perfect and this continues that trend but Ospreay vs. Lethal comes to near perfection. 

WWE Weekly Wednesday Wrestling Wrap-Up Reviews: 9.19.2018

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205 Live Results + Star Ratings: 

  • TJP defeats Lince Dorado **3/4
  • Cedric Alexander defeats Drew Gulak to retain the Cruiserweight Title ****1/2

 

TJP vs Lince Dorado:

  • Good opening pacing lead by Dorado. 
  • Guillotine Choke over the middle rope by TJP followed up by a high crossbody by TJP diving back in-ring. 
  • Springboard by Dorado caught by TJP into an arm break weakening the arm for submissions later in the match. 
  • Series of suplexes by TJP for the first near fall. 
  • TJP torques Dorado’s arm in a hammerlock. Dorado tries to fight out but TJP takes him back down into a Butterfly Lock, TJP is showing solid technical ability. Dorado finally fights out but TJP takes him down with a springboard forearm. 
  • Spinning Heel Kick by Dorado comes out of nowhere taking both down. Stiff chop by Dorado into a high crossbody. Dorado hits a huricanrana sending TJP ringside, suicide dive by Dorado.
  • Moonsault by Dorado, near fall. 
  • Superkick by Dorado knocks TJP into the corner, Bronco Buster by Dorado into an Inverted DDT attempt by Dorado, TJP fights off and removes the mask of Dorado and delivers a roll-up win. Solid heel way to finish a match. 

Winner: TJP

Rating: **3/4, A pretty fun opening match and TJP looked great in this match showing a technical side and a dastardly heel side too. The match never really got anywhere though but was fun while it lasted. 

  • Lio Rush and Drake Maverick segment, Drake says regardless of Lio Rush’s appearances on RAW he still has to commit to his bookings on 205 Live and books the MOTH for a match next week against Noam Dar.
  • Drake Maverick and Mustafa Ali segment, Maverick books Ali vs. Itami.

Drew Gulak vs. Cedric Alexander(c) for the Cruiserweight Title:

  • Gulak is accompanied by Jack Gallagher and Brian Kendrick. 
  • An early attempt at the Gu-Lock by Gulak off a distraction by Kendrick fails as Cedric gets to the ropes.
  • Kendrick pulls Cedric down and the referee throws Gallagher and Kendrick out. 
  • Stiff chops by Alexander after he unsuccessfully tries to capitalize on a distracted Gulak with a pinfall attempt. 
  • Gulak catches Alexander in a flat liner attempt and drops him on his neck with a half and half suplex. 
  • Gulak keeps working the arm of Cedric. Gulak has spent a lot of this match on top. 
  • A hard elbow by Gulak hits Cedric for the first near fall.
  • Amazing Suplex over the ropes rolling on to the floor by Cedric Alexander. Really innovative and well-executed spot, both back in at a 9-count. 
  • Cedric fires up and hits a series of running strikes, Drive-By kick by Cedric to Gulak on the turnbuckle. Springboard Forearm by Cedric for a good near fall. 
  • Lumbar Check attempt by Cedric rolled up, near fall by Gulak. Neutralizer kick by Cedric knocks Gulak ringside and Alexander hits a Tope Con Hiro to ringside. 
  • Gu-Lock locked in by Gulak, Alexander grabs the ropes. 
  • Stiff lariat by Gulak, near fall. 
  • Bodyslams by Gulak as he talks about a “better 205 Live”
  • Roll up by Cedric, near fall. Great lariat by Gulak flips Alexander, near fall. 
  • Buddy Murphy shown looking on, he faces the winner at Super ShowDown.
  • Step-up enzugiri knocks Gulak back, sunset flip into a Michinoku Driver by Alexander, near fall on Gulak. 
  • Chops by Alexander but Gulak flips over the turnbuckle and delivers a smashing forearm. Flying Lariat by Gulak, who had to actually go to the top rope against his own beliefs, near fall. 
  • Gu-Lock locked in for the 3rd time by Gulak, Alexander powers him up and hits a Death Valley Driver into the corner. Great counter by Alexander after a good submission sequence. 
  • Both run at each other and hit stereo big boots into a strikefest, a lumbar check by Alexander closes. 

Winner: Cedric Alexander Retains! Day Count: 143+

Rating: ****1/2, this is my favorite cruiserweight match of the year just topping Buddy Murphy vs. Alexander but this one had a great story along with well-executed spots. These two worked very cleanly without a botch and the pacing was fantastic with the opening being a feeling out period and it really escalating. The main story was Gulak went to insane lengths for him to grab the title and make a better 205 Live showing resiliency and even breaking his “No Fly Zone” rule. These two put on a very good match and Alexander looks great going into his match against Buddy Murphy at Super ShowDown. 

ricochet-pete-dunne-nxt-tv-logoNXT TV Results + Star Ratings:

  • Aliyah and Lacey Evans defeat Deonna Purazzo and Dakota Kai **
  • Jaxson Ryker defeats Humberto Cardillo N/A

Deonna Purazzo and Dakota Kai vs. Lacey Evans and Aliyah:

  • Deonna and Evans start the match. 
  • Tilt-A-Whirl by Evans caught into a Fujiwara arm lock by Deonna, Evans fights out.
  • Evans attacks Deonna in the corner with elbow shots. 
  • Bronco Buster by Evans onto Deonna, near fall. 
  • Aliyah kicks the hand of Kai ringside turning the refs’ attention so the heels can team up against Deonna momentarily. 
  • Aliyah and Evans are isolating Deonna, hot tag to Kai. Broski Boot by Kai, near fall save by Evans. 
  • O’Connor roll by Kai, Evans hits a KO Punch stopping the pin on Aliyah and pins Kai for the win. 

Winner: Aliyah and Evans

Rating: **, a very mediocre showcase match for 3 talented women and Aliyah. 

  • Velveteen Dream interview, Dream walks away from a question about the mysterious assault on Aleister Black. 
  • Street Profits interview. These guys are pretty fun.
  • Replay from the Nikki Cross and Bianca Belair brawl from last week

Humberto Carrillo vs. Jaxson Ryker:

  • Ryker is an NXT debut but he’s also Gunner from TNA. 
  • Springboard by Carillo caught with an ax handle strike by Ryker.
  • Slingshot Powerbomb by Ryker ends the squash match. 

Winner: Jaxson Ryker

Rating: N/A, squash

  • William Regal and Candice LeRae segment about the Black attack. LeRaw says Ciampa might’ve done it. Regal asks her about Johnny Gargano maybe doing it.

Ricochet(North American Title) vs. Pete Dunne(UK Title) Winner Takes All Match:

  • An obvious Undisputed ERA match to interfere in, this won’t end clean. 
  • Keith Lee video package, I’m VERY hyped for Lee’s future in NXT.
  • Otis Dozovic vs. Tomasso Ciampa announced for next week. 
  • Big fight feels.
  • Dunne absolutely wrenches the arm of Ricochet giving him the early advantage, Dunne spends a while, in the beginning, working the arm of Rico. 
  • Solid technical start to the match.
  • Surfboard Lock by Pete Dunne but Ricochet falls out of it onto a pin on Dunne only getting one count.
  • Stiff elbow by Dunne absolutely decks Ricochet. Ricochet starts to speed up though and hits a huricanrana sending Dunne to ringside. Suicide Dive hits for Rico. 
  • Dunne wrenches back the fingers of Ricochet and continues to work the arm of Rico.
  • Rolling Thunder Lariat by Ricochet flips Dunne and gives Ricochet much-needed space. 
  • Springboard uppercut by Ricochet gives the first near fall. 
  • Fire up sequence by Dunne, Ricochet lands off Dunne’s explex and hits a Standing Shooting Star on Dunne, near fall. 
  • Ricochet caught into an armbar by Dunne, Ricochet tries to pin his way out, near fall. Dunne dodges a standing moonsault by Ricochet.
  • Jumping knee by Ricochet drops Dunne in the drop zone, Springboard uppercut by Ricochet gets caught with an elbow by Dunne. Explex by Dunne, near fall. 
  • Bitter End attempt but Ricochet lands on his feet. Snap kick by Dunne, Rico side steps Dunne sending him to the outside. 
  • Amazing moonsault off the post to ringside by Rico misses, Hard elbow by Dunne connects. Explex on the apron by Dunne, awesome sequence. Bitter End reversed into a reverserana by Ricochet, great near fall. 
  • This match is great and all but I’m just anxiously awaiting the non-finish.
  • Hand stomp/snap kick combo by Dunne starts a strikefest. Dunne catches a rolling Rico for a lariat. Handspring Tornado DDT by Ricochet, near fall. 
  • Awesome supercanrana by Rico followed by an ax kick/flatliner combo by Rico, great near fall. That awesome sequence of moves by Rico gets a standing ovation from the crowd. 
  • 450 by Ricochet caught into a triangle hold by Dunne, Ricochet powers into a powerbomb.
  • Finger break by Dunne gets Rico in a Kimura Lock, Ricochet deadlifts Dunne into a brainbuster, awesome show of strength. 
  • Undisputed ERA jumps the match ending it in a Double DQ closing it predictably. War Raiders chase UE out of the ring.

Winner: Double DQ

Rating: ****1/2, what could’ve been a MOTY contender because of amazing spots and a great chemistry between Dunne and Ricochet got cut short because of an attack by Undisputed ERA. However, this match delivered on so many levels. I normally give non-finish matches under a 4-star rating regardless, however, this match was heading into the 5-star regions and I had to acknowledge the match these two put on. The crowd was into it 100% and both got to look really strong. 

 

WWE Hell in a Cell 2018 Review

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Star Ratings + Results:

  • Randy Orton defeats Jeff Hardy inside Hell in a Cell @23:52 ***3/4
  • Becky Lynch defeats Charlotte Flair to win the SD Live Women’s Title @13:34 ***1/2
  • Drew Mcintyre and Dolph Ziggler defeat The Shield to retain the RAW Tag Titles @22:08 ****1/2
  • AJ Styles defeats Samoa Joe to retain the WWE Title @19:00 ****
  • Miz and Maryse defeat Daniel Bryan and Brie Bella @13:00 **1/4
  • Ronda Rousey defeats Alexa Bliss to retain the Raw Women’s Title @12:12 ***
  • Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman goes to a no contest @24:51 *

 

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Jeff Hardy vs. Randy Orton Hell in a Cell Match:

  • A WWE dream-match from 2010 that should’ve happened when both men were in their primes.
  • New painted red cell distracts from the match. 
  • Match starts fast and they start to brawl ringside sending each other into the cell, Hardy brings out a table.
  • Hardy kicks the table into the chest of Orton ringside sending him into the cell. 
  • Hardy also brings out a ladder and hits Orton with it, Orton fights back with a steel chair though.
  • Great Jumping Senton by Hardy off a steel chair ringside sends Orton into the cage.
  • Hardyiac Arrest Dropkick by Hardy for the first near fall. 
  • Great superplex by Orton, Orton deadlifted Hardy to get him higher sending Jeff down hard, near fall. 
  • Whisper in the Wind by Hardy, near fall. 
  • Hardy goes for another ladder and sets it up upside-down ringside. A front suplex by Orton sends Hardy through the ladder supports, innovative spot, near fall back in-ring.
  • Orton attacks Hardy with a steel chair, Orton grabs Hardy’s steel studded belt and whips him with it, a little kinky for WWE but okay…
  • Orton puts Hardy in between a ladder and stomps it down on him, near fall. 
  • These guys are working really slowly in this match, especially Orton. 
  • Hardy fires up and hits a sequence of dropkicks, near fall.
  • Twist of Fate countered into a Powerslam by Orton, near fall.
  • Orton pulls out tools and grabs a screwdriver, so Orton looks like he’s trying to kill Hardy and the ref is standing there like “how bout you don’t” good WWE logic. Orton puts a screwdriver through the ear lobe of Hardy and twists it, almost too brutal. Gross. Fitting for a HIAC match though.
  • Hardy attacks Orton with a chair, Hardy’s snapped and pins Orton, near fall.
  • Orton pulls Hardy off the top rope stopping the swanton bomb. From the belt whipping by Hardy to Orton Randy’s back is bloody and welted. 
  • Hangman DDT by Orton. Orton taunts for the RKO but fails hitting it, Twist of Fate by Hardy. Hardy lays a steel chair on Orton and goes for the Swanton Bomb and hits it on the chair on Orton, good near fall. 
  • The leg of Orton is busted open. This match is actually brutal but the crowd is lame as hell. 
  • Hardy sets up ladders and a table in the ring, Twist of Fate Stunner puts Orton on the table. Hardy climbs up to the tallest ladder and grabs the cell ceiling and swings off down through the table as Orton dodges. Great innovative cell spot. The referee calls for the cell to be called up and EMTs even though it’s Hell in a Cell and they didn’t do that shitty finish for Mick Foley or Triple H when they took worse spots. Randy Orton anti-climactically pins Hardy for the win. 

Winner: Randy Orton

Rating: ***3/4, this felt like an old school brutal match. These guys went for it all and this might be my favorite Randy Orton match since the Christian feud. Jeff Hardy shined in this match and took some insane spots like the screwdriver ear and the swing off the cell ceiling. The spots were really innovative too and like nothing we’ve ever seen in HIAC which it’s rare to see WWE try anything new. However, the match was worked really slow for the majority and the ending was weird. Never before have they stopped a HIAC match because someone took a hard spot, it didn’t look like Hardy landed unsafely at all so they were just trying to sell the intensity of spot and the whole point of the cell is so these guys can go crazy without any help from the ref. This match both made the cell look brutal but also made it look like just another stipulation which is honestly what it’s become in recent years. Orton vs. Hardy was a fitting feud for the cell but this match is another reason why WWE should only bring out the cell when it’s needed. Overall, this match was a breath of fresh air even if that breath was way too long. 

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Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte (c) for the SD Live Women’s Title:

  • The feud behind this match has been great and has really highlighted Becky Lynch. 
  • Early attempts by both at their submission finishers.
  • Diving Forearm off the apron by Lynch knocks Charlotte down ringside. 
  • Near fall roll up by Charlotte followed up with a Diving forearm by Lynch for another near fall.
  • Becky Lynch is doing a good job of working the arm of Lynch and keeps her in a hammerlock. Charlotte fights out and hits a chop but a lariat by Lynch goes for a near fall. 
  • Lynch misses a leg drop and Flair hits a sloppy knee stomp, Lynch hotshots Charlotte’s arm over the top rope. Lynch drops Flair shoulder first into the apron. Back in-ring near fall. 
  • Saito Suplex by Charlotte giver her much needed space. 
  • Big Boot by Charlotte knocks down Becky after a solid sequence. Charlotte follows it up with a moonsault that misses, Lynch locks in an armbar but Flair powers into a powerbomb, near fall.
  • Strikefest starts and Lynch fires it up and hits an inverted DDT landing Flair on her shoulder, near fall. 
  • Lynch flies off the top rope and neither of them do anything so Lynch just awkwardly falls and Flair locks in the Boston Crab, Lynch grabs rope.
  • Lynch pulls Charlotte’s arm into the post, in-ring roll up by Flair but Lynch locks in the Dis-Arm-Her as she kicks out, Flair escapes to ringside. 
  • Spear by Charlotte great reversal by Lynch into a shock pin and she wins the title. 

Winner: Becky Lynch New Champion!

Rating: ***1/2, this was a great match with both looking really good. The story of Lynch working the arm and at the end the story of Lynch finally getting her moment made this more than a good sprint. The pacing was much better than the last match and this match was for the most part cleanly worked. Becky Lynch deserves her moment to add a chapter to this good feud. 

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The Shield vs. Dolph Ziggler and Drew Macintyre(c) for the Raw Tag Titles:

  • Dolph Ziggler and Seth Rollins start the match. 
  • Early Stomp attempt by Seth sends Ziggler ringside to recuperate with Drew. 
  • Drew and Dolph square up, Ziggler distracts Dean and Mcintyre clocks Ambrose from behind. 
  • Hot tag by Seth Rollins after isolation on Dean. Suicide Dive attempt stopped by Mcintyre, Spike DDT by Ziggler out of nowhere on Seth, near fall. 
  • Drew and Dolph isolate Rollins, Ziggler locks in a sleeper on Rollins, Saito suplex by Rollins breaks Dolph off and opens tags, Mcintyre pulls Ambrose off the apron to stop the tag. 
  • Reverse Alabama Slam by Mcintyre to Rollins, near fall save by Ambrose.
  • While on the shoulders of Mcintyre, Rollins makes the tag but Ziggler distracts the ref stopping the tag from being noticed and Drew and Dolph continue to isolate Rollins.
  • Seth finally tags in Dean for the hot tag. Jacknife cover by Ambrose for a near fall, swinging neckbreaker by Dean for another near fall on Drew. 
  • Dean sends Drew into the post and Dolph into the barricade. Dean goes to the top rope and goes for an elbow drop but Drew catches him and hits an exploder suplex into the corner. 
  • Hot tag by Seth Rollins, Rollins hits a suicide dive but gets caught by Drew and Dolph. Dean Ambrose hits a suicide dive to knock everybody down.
  • Falcon Arrow by Rollins on Dolph, very near fall.
  • Fameasser by Ziggler caught into a buckle bomb by Rollins, near fall save by Drew into a great sequence. Roll up by Ziggler, near fall, Roll up by Rollins, near fall and a Zig Zag by Dolph hits for an awesome near fall.
  • Claymore stopped with a superkick by Rollins, near fall. Another superkick by Rollins into a Frog Splash to the back of Drew, awesome near fall. Commentary is doing great selling the near falls. 
  • Plancha Dive by Rollins misses Ziggler sending Seth to a hard landing. Flying Lariat by Drew to Ambrose and Mcintyre kips up showing athleticism. 
  • Dean takes Drew to ringside, Superplex by Rollins but the Falcon Arrow stops with a Claymore kick by Drew out of nowhere for the close. Great finish. 

Winners: Drew Mcintyre and Dolph Ziggler Retain! Days Held: 14+

Rating: ****1/2, while my favorite conventional main roster WWE match is still The Miz vs. Seth Rollins from BackLash this places in the top 3. Seth Rollins has been the only consistently good thing about WWE this year and he continues to prove it by using actual logic, great high spots and amazing pacing in all of his matches. The addition of Dean and Drew made the great Ziggler vs. Rollins match even better.

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AJ Styles(c) vs. Samoa Joe for the WWE Title:

  • Really weird attitude era like feud behind this match.
  • Styles comes hot out of the gates. 
  • Good Dropkick by Styles knocks Joe ringside, sliding knee off the apron by Styles.
  • Styles looks really agressive in this match.
  • Baseball Slide by Styles knocks Joe into the announce table. 
  • Phenomenal Forearm attempt by Styles but Joe dodges to ringside. Plancha Dive to ringside by Styles caught with a kick by Joe. Big Boot ringside by Joe run Styles over. Joe chucks Styles into the steps.
  • Running Knee by Joe to Styles in the corner. Styles has lost most of his momentum. 
  • Step-up Enzugiri by Joe knocks Styles into the ropes, Joe kicks Styles to ringside. Amazing suicide punch dive by Joe to ringside, near fall in-ring. 
  • Running Uppercut by Joe absolutely flips Styles, near fall.
  • Superplex attempt by Joe but Styles slips under and snake eyes Joe on the top turnbuckle giving AJ some much needed space. 
  • AJ fires up the a series of strikes ending with a sliding forearm for a near fall. 
  • Moonsault Reverse DDT by Styles, near fall. Really good-looking move. 
  • Lionsault by Styles caught into the knees of Joe, Powebomb by Joe, near fall. Transition into a Boston Crab by Joe, transitioned into an STF by Joe, Styles grabs the ropes. 
  • Really impressive show of strength with a Burning Hammer Powerbomb by Styles for a near fall. 
  • Springboard 450 by Styles hits, near fall.
  • Slingshot by Joe sends Styles into the corner, hard running lariat by Joe for a good near fall. 
  • Joe looks for a Muscle Buster but Styles reverses into a failed Styles Clash, Stiff step-up enzugiri by Joe knocks Styles down, great near fall. The crowd should be a lot more into this. 
  • Pele Kick by Styles knocks Joe into the corner, Phenomenal Forearm caught into the Coquina Clutch by Joe, Styles rolls up Joe for the win. On replay it looked like Styles tapped out before the 3 count meaning Joe won but Styles gets to retain. 

Winner: AJ Styles Retains! Day Count: 314

Rating: ****, for a WWE match this was really hard-hitting and some of AJ’s best work in a while. The crowd was out of it due to the live crowd for this show, frankly, just being absolute crap. These 2 were hitting big strikes and moves going off of great pacing for a while. Hopefully, they can top this match due to the finish teasing another chapter. A rare occasion where a non-finish in WWE makes me excited but it happened. 

  • Miz and Maryse defeat Brie Bella and Daniel Bryan **1/4

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Alexa Bliss vs. Ronda Rousey(c) for the Raw Women’s Title:

  • Alexa Bliss is accompanied by Alicia Fox and Mickie James and Rousey is accompanied by Natalya. 
  • Rousey launches Bliss across the ring with a beal. 
  • Rousey follows Bliss to ringside, scares her then throws her back in. 
  • Rousey side-steps Bliss sending her diving and taking out her posse. 
  • Bliss pulls Rousey’s hair over the top rope getting her on top for a second. 
  • Stiff mid-kick by Bliss to Rousey, Rousey is coming into the match with sore ribs so they’re continuing the story. 
  • Rousey goes for the Judo Throw but the ribs gave out, Double knee moonsault by Bliss for a near fall. 
  • Bliss doing a good job of working the ribs of Rousey.
  • Bliss kicks Rousey in the ribs on the tree of woe, near fall. 
  • The most offense Rousey has taken since her joining WWE. 
  • Bliss drives Rousey into the bottom turnbuckle and stretches her ribs against the post. Fox and James stretch Rousey against the post too and Natalya takes out Alicia Fox, Rousey takes out Mickie James. Double Crossbody by both women. 
  • Roll up by Rousey, near fall. Backslide by Rousey, near fall. Mid-kick by Bliss catches Rousey. 
  • Rousey fires up and Judo Throws Bliss. 
  • Judo Drop by Rousey into an armbar ending the match. 

Winner: Ronda Rousey

Rating: ***, This match was good as Rousey held her own totally and these two put on a good long match. However, Ronda looked way too weak in this match selling the rib injury and giving Bliss the majority of the offense. 

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Roman Reigns(c) vs. Braun Strowman Universal Championship Hell in a Cell Match with Mick Foley as Guest Referee:

  • Strowman grabs the title and Roman comes agressive out the gates.
  • Strowman sends Reigns into the cell wall via a shoulder block on the apron. 
  • Strowman trucks Roman into the cell wall ringside.
  • Braun’s first HIAC match.
  • Drive-By by Roman saves him from a steel step shot by Braun. 
  • Chokeslam on the apron by Braun. 
  • Reigns attacks Strowman with a kendo stick shattering it. 
  • Roman attacks Braun with a steel chair, Braun catches the chair and charges at Reigns but Reigns sidesteps sending Strowman into the post. 
  • DDT on the chair by Reigns, Strowman powers out early. 
  • 2 Superman punches by Reigns, Strowman catches the 3rd one in a chokeslam and gets a 3-count by Foley but they treat it like a 2. Strowman should’ve won the match and ended it awkwardly off that botch by Foley. 
  • The 3rd Superman Punch hits for Reigns, near fall. 
  • Someone in the crowd keeps screeching, it got so bad that they had to turn off the crowd mic. 
  • Reigns runs around the ring to superman punch Braun but gets caught with a steel step shot from Strowman. 
  • Another steel step shot in-ring by Braun, near fall. 
  • Running Powerslam by Strowman, near fall.
  • Foley is a bad referee. 
  • 4th and 5th Superman Punches rock Strowman, the 1st spear sends Braun through a table set up ringside. 
  • Both are down as Dolph Ziggler and Drew Mcintyre come down, Dean and Seth come down to take out The Show. 
  • Ziggler starts climbing the cell and gets to the top, Rollins follows him and they brawl on top of the cell. Mcintyre comes up to help Ziggler and Ambrose comes up with a kendo stick to even the odds. Double lariat spot by Ambrose and Mcintyre on the top of the cell. 
  • Ziggler and Rollins brawl halfway down to the floor and both fall off half the cell through the announce table. 
  • Brock Lesnar comes down and literally kicks the door down off the hinges. Lesnar attacks Braun and Reigns with table fragments. F5 to Reigns onto Strowman by Lesnar. Heyman maces Foley so a new ref calls a no contest. 

Winner: No Contest Reigns Retains, Day Count: 28

Rating: *, so much overbooking bullshit made a bad match even worse. I’m tired of WWE putting the biggest men against each other in one-dimensional boring matches. Inside the cell it was lame but Lesnar’s return and the fact that Reigns and Strowman literally sat in the ring doing nothing for 10 minutes made this a crapshoot. I heavily dislike Braun Strowman and this continues my case that he’s no longer what he used to be, now he’s an annoying, whiny and boring big man in total contrary to what he used to be just a few months ago on raw. Reigns being bad still isn’t his fault at all. This match had nothing working for it in-ring and while it could’ve been a fun and insane spotfest WWE literally messed it all up and ended a HIAC match in a no contest. This show made the HIAC just another stipulation washed over in the system.

Show Grade: B

Last Word: The in-cell work tonight was stuff of nightmares, both matches made the HIAC look like a bitch boy palace with both matches ending in the referees deciding that the comabtants were too hurt. Just to double check, this is Hell in a Cell right?? The same stipulation that had Mick Foley’s teeth shoved out of his mouth and into his nose and he had to wrestle the rest of the match after multiple 20+ foot falls against the Undertaker?? Okay, so tell me why Brock Lesnar’s F5 is more brutal than a fall into thumbtacks or a fall through the cell. Is swinging off the cell ceiling more brutal either? No, the hell in a cell is a bitch boy palace now. Regardless, what was out of the cell on this show was stellar. The Drew and Dolph vs The Shield and Styles vs. Joe were very good while Lynch vs. Flair and Rousey vs. Bliss were both good. The show started well with the Orton vs. Hardy clash that even though ended really bad had a couple great brutal spots and the quality either got better or remained the same until the atrocious main event and ending.